THE AIRCRAFT Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) committee, probing the chopper crash of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at Latur last month submitted it’s preliminary report on the case last week. The report, submitted to the AAIB, contains observations from the accident site and evidence collected.
In May, the Sikorsky chopper of Fadnavis carrying four other members of his team crash-landed at a school play ground in Nilanga where he was conducting an inspection of drought relief measures. While everyone escaped unhurt, the chopper suffered damages.
A three member team of the AAIB had collected evidence of the chopper from the site and recorded statements of witnesses after the accident. Speaking to The Indian Express, an AAIB official from the committee said: “Yes, we have recorded certain observations after analysing the preliminary evidence with us. It must be noted that these form primary evidence and no official accusation on any party could be based out of this.”
He added: “We will conduct further inquiry by analysing whether Standard Operating Procedures concerning chopper operations were followed. The last report, which will include the analysis of the evidence as per the stated guidelines will remain final.”
The pilot of the chopper, Sanjay Karve, had claimed in his statement to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after the accident that unfavorable weather was the reason to call for a crash-landing.