Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mumbai helicopter crash: Experts seek independent probe

Experts have raised concerns over conflict of interest between DGCA and AAIB with respect to investigations into the helicopter crash at Goregaon on Sunday. According to them, AAIB officials appointed by the ministry of civil aviation include officials who were previously with DGCA. Experts have hence demanded that an independent third body appointed by the government – a special panel constituted by the court or CBI - handle investigations.

On Sunday, a private operator’s R-44 Robinson Astro copter crashed, allegedly due to a clutch malfunction, killing its pilot, Captain Praful K. Mishra, while a passenger, Ritesh Modi, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. Ritesh’s wife, Vrinda, is being treated for severe burn injuries at an Airoli hospital while the fourth occupant, Sanjeev Shankar, was discharged on Wednesday.

Captain Mohan Ranganathan, former member of the government-appointed Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee, said, “The International Civil Aviation Organisation too has raised questions on the regulator itself being part of the investigation. There are major violations both from DGCA as well as AAIB as far as safety is concerned. Unless an independent body is constituted for investigating accidents, there cannot be unbiased reports in such cases.”
17/12/16 Neha L.M.Tripathi/The Asian Age
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