New Delhi: The Central Government has decided to hold a formal inquiry into the accident involving the Bell 430 helicopter (VT-APG) that crashed with the Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Reddy and four others on board.
The helicopter that belonged to the Andhra Pradesh government crashed on September 2, 2009 while flying from Hyderabad to Chitoor, killing all its passengers. The chief minister had taken off from Hyderabad airport to Chittoor in inclement weather on Wednesday morning. The chopper crashed while crossing the dense Nallamalla jungle.
The Government is to exercise powers conferred by the Rule 74 of the Aircraft Rule 1937 to hold a formal inquiry of the above accident.
The Committee of inquiry will be headed by the Chairman and Managing Director of Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd, R K Tyagi and will also have the following members to inquire into the circumstances of the accident:
- Flight Operation Inspector, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Captain Irshad Ahmad
- Senior Air Safety Officer (DAS, Mumbai), Sanjay Bramhane
- Deputy Director, Air Safety, Maneesh Kumar.
The above Committee will also take assistance from other experts from the Indian Air Force wherever required. The headquarter of the Committee will be New Delhi.
Government is also considering new guidelines for all VIP helicopters and helicopters in general.
Home ministry sources have confirmed that the department is in the process of drafting a fresh proposal which will be put forward for the Cabinet's consideration and sanction by the end of September.
All helicopters operators will have to ensure that the choppers have satellite phones and and upgraded GPS systems.