New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other staff died after the Mi17V5 they were flying on crashed minutes before reaching the destination in Wellington where Gen Rawat was scheduled to give a lecture.
An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) December 8, 2021
Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan flying the chopper. The exact reason for the crash is not yet known though many reports have ruled out a technical glitch and blamed bad weather for the crash. The IAF has constituted a probe and no official word is out on what led to the fatal crash.
Here is all you need to know about Mi17V5 chopper
1. Mi17V5 is an advanced transport helicopter which is with the Indian Air Force since 2012.
2. Russian Helicopters’ subsidiary Kazan manufacture Mi17V5. These choppers are equipped with the latest general of night vision devised. They also have weather radar.
3. India had in 2008 signed a deal with Russia to induct 80 Mi17V5 medium-lift helicopters for strengthening its chopper fleet for humanitarian and disaster relief missions and transport operations.
4. The contract was later expanded for the delivery of 151 Mi17V5 helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters came to India in September 2011.
5. According to the Russian government’s defence exports company Rosoboronexport, Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded.
6. According to the company, the helicopter can achieve a maximum speed of 250 km per hour.
7. The helicopter is fitted with advanced TV3-117VM engines.
8. Mi17V5 is the most technically advanced helicopter of Mi-8/17 family of helicopters and incorporates the best engineering solutions from previous generations of helicopters.
9. This helicopter has the new PKV-8 autopilot system and a KNEI-8 avionics suite. It can carry a maximum take-off weight of 13,000 kg and a maximum payload weight of 4,000 kg.
10. IAF’s Mi17V5 chopper has been involved in quite a few incidents during the last decade. The recent crash-land in Arunachal Pradesh (November 8) involved this chopper. This is the latest accident involving this chopper. On June 15, 2013, one of these helicopters crashed while returning from Kedarnath on a rescue mission during the Uttarakhand floods. A total of eight people, including five crew members, were killed in this accident.
Defence expert Retired Major General PK Sehgal told ANI that the Army has been using different variants of this helicopter for the last 25 to 30 years. The helicopter is battle-proven and 60 countries use it, he said.