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Gen. Bipin Rawat (1958-2021)

IAF helicopter crash | ‘Black box’ recovered; Air Chief visits crash site

Cockpit Voice Recorder, Flight Data Recorder of Mi-17V5 chopper retrieved during searches

December 09, 2021 11:15 am | Updated December 10, 2021 04:34 am IST - Coimbatore

The devices were recovered after a search of the crash site on Thursday morning. Photo: Special Arrangement

The devices were recovered after a search of the crash site on Thursday morning. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) of the Mi-17V5 chopper of the Indian Air Force that crashed with Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 defence personnel on board at Kattery in the Nilgiris on Wednesday were recovered on Thursday.

The CVR and FDR, popularly known as ‘black box’, were retrieved during searches conducted at the crash site early on Thursday, a source said.

Examination of the two boxes, painted in orange, will give insights into the crash when the chopper was heading to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, from the Air Force Station, Sulur, near Coimbatore.

A retired Air Force officer said the CVR would have voice recording from the cockpit. The FDR would have the recording of various parameters of the aircraft.

A source said the two devices would be examined by the IAF as part of its ongoing inquiry into the chopper crash.

The Army has taken control over the entire area of the crash site and people from the locality and outsiders are not allowed to visit the place.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari and senior officers visited the crash site on Thursday. The sources added that more senior defence personnel are expected to visit the site to investigate the crash.

Meanwhile, a video of a chopper disappearing into the mist in the hills, purportedly shot by a tourist from the Nilgiri Mountain Railway track at Kattery, has emerged as the last moments of the crashed IAF chopper. After the chopper disappears into the mist, a crash sound is heard in the video. Defence and police sources said the video would be analysed as part of the investigation.

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