Tawang chopper crash: Committee of Inquiry set up

Tawang chopper crash: Committee of Inquiry set up

The three-member committee, comprising former air force officers, would investigate all aspects of the accident and submit its report within three months, an official spokesperson said here.

Seventeen of the 23 people on board the Mi-172 helicopter of the state-owned Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited were killed in the crash near the helipad in Tawang on Tuesday. While the committee would be headed by Air Marshal (Retd) P P Rajkumar, its other members are Air Commodore (Retd) Rai Krishan and Wing Commander (Retd) Rabinder Singh. DGCA's Deputy Director (Air Safety) M J Singh would be its Secretary.

The panel would investigate and determine the cause and contributory factors leading to the accident and make recommendations to avoid recurrence of such accidents, he said. DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan had earlier told PTI that while a two-member team was conducting a preliminary enquiry, a full-fledged probe committee would be set up soon.

Meanwhile, Pawan Hans has announced an interim compensation of Rs one lakh for the kin of each of those killed in the crash and Rs 50,000 for those injured. Final compensation shall be determined as per law, the spokesperson said.

Following the crash, the Civil Aviation Ministry directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to launch a series of measures, including an immediate drive to ensure that all helicopters are operated and maintained in accordance with the approved procedures to ensure safety.

The DGCA has also been asked to undertake immediate assessment of helipads, particularly in critical and remote areas where helicopter operations are crucial. The aviation regulator would ensure that examiners of helicopters conduct special checks of the line pilots under overall supervision of DGCA in a time-bound manner and regularly monitor and review safety regulations which are implemented by state governments.

The ministry has also asked DGCA to make an "external assessment" of overall safety standards of helicopter operations in respect of operators which fly in such critical areas, the spokesperson said.

Bhushan and Pawan Hans chief R K Tyagi had rushed to the accident site the next day to supervise the rescue and relief operations. An Inspector of Accident was appointed the same day to carry out preliminary investigations.