Evidence from YSR chopper crash site to be examined further

"We have collected some evidences which will be further examined and after this examination the cause of accident would be established," R K Tyagi, who is heading a five-member high-powered committee of DGCA, told mediapersons here.

Before leaving for Delhi, the DGCA team held detailed discussions with the officials of Hyderabad Air Traffic Control and Andhra Pradesh Aviation Corporation Ltd here.

The team also collected the weather report from ATC officials and inquired whether the two pilots S K Bhatia and M S Reddy, who were also killed in the crash, had undergone health check-up prior to take off on September 2, sources said.

The twin-engine Bell-430 helicopter, carrying Rajasekhara Reddy, his Principal Secretary P Subrahmanyam and Chief Security Officer ASC Wesley besides the pilots, had taken off from old Begumpet Airport at 8.35 am on that day towards Chittoor district.

But the chopper crashed in Nallamala forest about 70km east of Kurnool. The wreckage of the helicopter was spotted by IAF helicopters at around 8.30 am on September 3, nearly 24 hours after it lost contact with the Air Traffic Controller at old Begumpet Airport here.

The helicopter had deviated 18 kms from its path, hit the cliff of a hillock, crashed and exploded. Tyagi, who is also Chairman and Managing Director of Pawan Hans Corporation, took up on site investigations at the crash site in the dense Nallamala forest range in Kurnool district on Thursday.

The expert team which videographed the enitre area and collected crucial pieces of the helicopter wreckage is likely to visit to Kurnool again after a week. The team later held interaction with doctors and forensic experts who conducted autopsy on the charred remains of YSR and four others.

"We have made the site visit yesterday. We also discussed with all the doctors who have conducted the post-mortem," Tyagi said but did not divulge details on the technical and other aspects that led to the crash.

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