The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has begun a probe into the helicopter crash in which Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy and four others lost their lives.

“DGCA has begun comprehensive investigations into the crash to find out the causes. But preliminary reports say that the helicopter may have run into bad weather,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters here on Thursday.

Expressing grief and shock at the death of Dr. Reddy and others, he said the Chief Minister was a wonderful human being and in his death the country had lost a great leader.

Mr. Patel said the twin-engined Bell-430 aircraft had airworthiness certifications valid till December next year while the two pilots, who also died in the crash, were certified and had long experience in helicopter operations.

‘No indication of snag’

“There was no indication of a snag or shortcoming through out the flight,” he said, adding that the ill-fated chopper had a weather radar and was technically capable of flying in “blind conditions” as well. However, since the chopper was operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) instead of being instrument-guided, “it is for the pilot to take a decision,” Mr. Patel said. He added that it was for the inquiry to ascertain all aspects of the crash.

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