Government Orders Probe into YSR Chopper Crash

Jolted by the tragic death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy the Union Government on Thursday decided on a formal probe into the crash of the state government owned Bell 430 chopper that killed the Congress leader and four others on board.

The helicopter crashed in inclement weather over the dense Nallamalla forests on Wednesday, it was on its way to Chitoor after taking off from the Hyderabad airport.

Exercising powers vested in it by Rule 74 of the Aircraft Rule 1937, the government decided on a formal probe into the accident and named a four member panel to conduct the inquiry.

The probe panel comprising of Captain Irshad Ahmad (Flight Operation Inspector, Directorate General of Civil Aviation), Sanjay Bramhane (Senior Air Safety Officer-DAS, Mumbai), Maneesh Kumar (Deputy Director, Air Safety) will be headed by EK Tyagi Chairman and Managing Director of Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd

The IAF and other experts will also assist the probe as and when required.

The government is also said to be considering fresh guidelines to govern helicopters in general and VIP choppers in specific.

Reports citing Home ministry sources say the department is drafting a fresh proposal which will be forwarded to the Union Cabinet for requisite approvals.

According to the reports, all chopper services will in future have to ensure that the copters are equipped with satellite phones and upgraded GPS systems.

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