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Pilot Error Cause Of YSR Chopper Crash, Says Probe Report

PTI 20 Jan 2010, 22:52:00 IST

The crash which claimed the life of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S R Reddy was caused by the error of pilots who lost control over the chopper in poor weather after losing "vital" six minutes getting engrossed in searching for a flight checklist, a probe report said on Wednesday.

The report, submitted to the government by the four-member inquiry committee, said the "probable" cause of the helicopter accident on September 2 last was that it "occurred due to loss of control resulting in uncontrolled descent in the terrain at a very high rate of descent due to entry into severe down draught".

The crew flew the helicopter under the instrument flying condition even though their flight plan was cleared for Visual Flight Rules (VFR), it said.

The crew noticed a snag and "was engrossed for vital six minutes before the impact in searching for the relevant checklist from the Flight Manual".

"This distracted their attention from the prevailing poor visibility weather conditions thus leading into the loss of situational awareness," the report, prepared by the Committee headed by Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited chief S K Tyagi, said.

Reddy, his special secretary P Subramaniam, Chief Security Officer ASC Weseley, and the two pilots Grp Capt S K Bhatia and Capt M S Reddy, were killed when the Bell 430 helicopter of the state government crashed in the dense jungles of Nalamalla hills. PTI