IAF copter crash: Black box retrieved

Coonoor (TN): Defence officials on Thursday retrieved the Flight Data Recorder, more popularly known as ‘Black Box’, of the ill-fated Indian Air Force helicopter that crashed near here on Wednesday, killing Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat and 12 others.

Official sources said the black box was retrieved in the wake of authorities expanding the search area from 300 metres to one km from the accident spot.

Two boxes including the flight data recorder were recovered from the site, official sources said, adding, they are likely to be taken to Delhi or Bengaluru to ascertain the cause of the crash.

The black box would provide crucial data on the chain of events leading to the tragedy on the hills on Wednesday when the 63-year old Rawat, the country’s first CDS, his wife and 11 others were killed after the Mi-17VH helicopter they were travelling in crashed and went up in flames, leaving only one survivor.

Rawat was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the staff course when the fatal mishap happened in the Katteri-Nanchappanchathram area.

IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari visited the site of the helicopter crash on Thursday and along with senior officials, inspected the area, official sources said.

Meanwhile, a video showing a helicopter disappearing from the air near a hilly area is doing the rounds in the social media, linking it to Wednesday’s crash. However, there was no confirmation from the IAF about the viral video, which was said to be taken by a tourist.

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