No sabotage in helicopter crash of YSR: CBI

Last Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 08:58

New Delhi: The CBI today ruled out any
"conspiracy or sabotage" in the fatal helicopter crash which
killed the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S R Reddy.

In its inquiry report submitted today to the state
government, the agency said the crash was an "accident" which
could have been averted if the pilots had terminated the
journey or changed the flight path in view of adverse weather
conditions.

"The inquiry ruled out any conspiracy or sabotage and
concluded that the helicopter crash was an accident which
could have been averted had the pilots taken a decision to
terminate the journey or change the flight path in view of the
adverse weather conditions," a CBI spokesperson said here.

The accident took place in Nallamalla Reserve Forest of
AP`s Kurnool district on September 2, 2009.

Reddy accompanied by his Principal Secretary P
Subramanyam, IAS and his Chief Security Officer A S C Wesley
had left Begumpet airport in the state-owned Bell-430 VT APG
at 8.38 in the morning to attend an official programme in
Chittoor district.

The helicopter was piloted by Group Captain S K Bhatia
who was Pilot in Command and Captain M S Reddy who was the
Co-pilot.

"The helicopter disappeared from the Radar screen of Air
Traffic Control (ATC), Shamshabad, at 9.23.30 hours IST after
travelling a distance of 94.1 nautical miles from the Begumpet
Airport, Hyderabad," the spokesperson said.

He said search and rescue operation team located the
wreckage of the helicopter on a hillock in Nallamalla Reserve
Forest along with the bodies of all the five persons, he said.

A case was registered at the local police station.
"Government of Andhra Pradesh has requested for a CBI
probe into the incident and accordingly with due approval of
Government of India, a preliminary inquiry was registered at
CBI, Hyderabad on September 11, 2009," he said.

The CBI carried out a detailed probe in which several
witnesses were examined, he said.

"The assistance of experts from the National Aerospace
Laboratories(NAL), Bangalore, Institute of Aerospace Medicine
(IAM), Bangalore, Central Forensic Laboratories, Hyderabad,
New Delhi and Chandigarh, Rotary Wing Society of India, Delhi,
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, National
Remote Sensing Center, Hyderabad, Zen Technologies Ltd.,
Hyderabad and several others was taken," the official said.
The report was submitted to the Government of Andhra
Pradesh and District Magistrate Kurnool today.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 08:58

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