A tri-services inquiry into the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8 last year has been completed and the report has been submitted to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Sources said that bad weather was the prime reason behind the chopper crash. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 12 other armed forces personnel were aboard the helicopter that was on its way to Wellington from Sulur.
According to the probe team, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan who was the pilot of the Mi-17V5 chopper, just 8 minutes before the crash said that he was landing the helicopter. He was piloting the helicopter at a low level. Around 500-600 metre above the surface, a thick layer of cloud shrouded the helicopter, lowering the visibility.
The report said that Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was piloting the helicopter by following the railway line and was scheduled to land at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington where General Rawat had to deliver a lecture. The last communication was recorded 8 minutes before the crash.
The probe report has ruled out the possibility of any sabotage as probable cause of the chopper crash, sources said.