Pilot error behind YSR chopper crash: CBI
Hyderabad: Ten months after former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy was killed in a helicopter crash in the state’s dense Nalla Malla forests, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the incident has ruled out any conspiracy or sabotage and put the blame on the pilot for the crash.
The CBI report into the case, which was submitted on Friday, says the pilots of the chopper had raised alarm about the chopper losing altitude just 18 seconds before the crash on September 2, 2009.
"The chopper had started losing altitude and even disappeared from the radar screens of the Air Traffic Control at 9:23:30 hours. By the time the pilots realised what was happening, it was too late," the report states.
The CBI findings conclude human error was behind the crash as the pilots proceeded with the flight even after encountering rough weather conditions, instead of returning back immediately.
The disclosures were made following a detailed study of the Bell-430 VT APG chopper's cockpit voice recorder (CVR).
Apart from YSR, as the chief minister was popularly known, two state officials and both the pilots also perished in the incident.
According to the CVR analysis, co-pilot M S Reddy first raised the alarm at 9:27:24 hours and the chopper crashed at 9:27:42 hours.
The pilots’ last words recorded on the CVR were: "Go around go around action".
The helicopter’s wreckage was discovered 24 hours later, after an intense search operation.