IT WILL be at least another two months before the fate of the Sikorsky helicopter that crash-landed in Latur last week with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis onboard can be decided. Officials said a detailed report regarding the condition of the chopper, which was brought to a Juhu hangar on Wednesday, will be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation following which a decision on its fate can be taken.
The chopper has suffered substantial damage. Officials confirmed its blades were broken and there were dents on the chopper’s front side.
“The chopper’s wheels got entangled in high-tension wires. The pilot showed presence of mind by folding in the balancing stand of the chopper, staving off another disaster,” said a senior aviation official.
“The chopper is now in the Juhu airport hangar of the Maharashtra government. A detailed study of its avionics will be done,” said a senior DGCA official.
A three-member team of the Aviation Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) conducted an initial survey of the accident site. Evidence from the accident site, including parts of the chopper, were collected and witness accounts recorded. “The team has past experience of dealing with accident cases involving aircraft. We have followed procedure while collecting evidence from the site. We have also sealed the records of the chopper with respect to its cost, maintenance details and each activity done on the same before put to use. Accounts of witnesses, crew involved in the flight and officials involved with the upkeep of the chopper are also taken,” said B S Rai, Deputy Director of AAIB.
Officials from AAIB said no fixed time-frame can be offered right now for the submission of their report.