Vital clues that can throw some light on the cause of the helicopter mishap that killed Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and four others, including the crew, have been gathered from the crash site by an investigation team of the Director General of Civil Aviation on Thursday. Led by R.K. Tyagi, the DGCA team spent several hours at the crash site on hillock meticulously examining every piece of debris.
It mapped the entire crash site, the path in which the debris was scattered, location of the five bodies, the place where the engine rested and the trees which were first impacted by the helicopter. Mr. Tyagi told reporters, who accompanied the team to the site, that some more details were required before the team could arrive at a conclusion. This would be done in around two weeks. The investigation team was likely to make a second visit after a week. The helicopter first hit a tall tree on its top cutting its crown. Later, the whirring helicopter blades twisted two tall and strong trees from where the debris ploughed to a distance of 80 to 100 meters from the West to the East.
According to flight experts, the left side of the helicopter (where the Chief Minister was seated) took most of the impact resulting in throwing up much of the debris towards the right. After hitting the ground, the engine caught fire and a circular area around the wreckage showed charring though a major fire was not ignited. The fire could not spread further due to rain and wet conditions. The total crash site measures 100 meters long and 25 meter wide. The helicopter was so badly damaged after the crash that all its major components were broken into small pieces while the fuel and flight instrument panel and other parts melted. The rotor, the blades and its mast were detached from the hub and smashed into pieces. Based on the available clues, the experts tried to infer the direction of the flight, the altitude at which the helicopter flew and the impact of the weather conditions on the fight journey. The altitude of the hillock on which the flight crashed was calculated at 355 meters mean sea level.
The experts were understood to have been probing why the ill-fated copter descended to such a low altitude when its engine power was normal. Collector Mukesh Kumar Meena, SP Ch. Srikanth coordinated the visit of the panel while Additional Director General of Police Sivanarayana, Inspector General of Police M. Punna Rao also visited the place. A motorable path has been laid close to the Chintamanu Tippa on which the copter crashed. The hillock is located in the Pasurutla beat of Nallamala forest.