Hindon Air Force Base, Oct 8 (IANS) The tail rotor of the helicopter that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday had flown off, and the reason for it will be determined in a Court of Inquiry, Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa said on Sunday.
At a ceremony to celebrate the 85th Air Force Day, the Air Force Chief also expressed concern over accidents and peace time loss of life and assets.
“It appears that the tail rotor has flown off; the cause of why it had flown off will be determined in the court of inquiry. It is not correct for me to speculate at this stage,” Dhanoa said, adding that his comments may influence the Court of Inquiry that is already probing the accident.
An Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopter crashed on Friday morning in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district near the China border, killing five Air Force and two Army personnel.
“Notwithstanding our high intensity of flying, we cannot afford to have accidents and lose valuable life and assets,” Dhanoa said.
“Our losses during peace time are a cause of concern and we are making concerted efforts to prevent accidents and preserve our assets. We have inducted state of art simulators for training the air crew,” he added.
Dhanoa had expressed concern over peacetime losses during the annual press conference of IAF on Friday, as well as in his message on Air Force Day, published in the booklet that contained citations of those who were presented service and gallantry awards on Sunday.
“Our assets are scarce and expensive, IAF cannot afford to lose them on account of any carelessness, ignorance or unprofessionalism. Supervisors are entirely responsible for the safe and professional conduct of operations and must involve themselves whole heartedly with the task at hand,” he said.
The Russian-manufactured Mi-17 V5 chopper had taken off from Khirmu and was on its way to Yangtse to drop off kerosene jerry cans at an Army camp of the 10 Madras Regiment, when it crashed.
The wreckage was located at Tapugar area, about 130 km away from Tawang.
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