Today, the news of the death of Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash is making important headlines in all the newspapers of India.
The English newspaper The Hindu has reported that the Tamil Nadu Police had arranged for Z plus security for General Rawat.
General Rawat on Wednesday left Sulur Air Base along with 14 army men including his wife for the Defense Service Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu in a Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force.
According to the report of The Hindu, the Coimbatore City Police had made arrangements for Z plus security for the security of General Rawat. General Rawat was about to address the cadet of this college. A senior police officer told the newspaper, “We were also asked to make arrangements for roadway security of General Rawat’s convoy.”
There was a helipad in Wellington, 10 km from where General Rawat’s helicopter crashed. This is where the helicopter was supposed to land. The Tamil Nadu Police Department was stationed at the helipad. An eyewitness who saw the helicopter fall and a police officer who reached the crash site said the weather was clear and there were no clouds.
An eyewitness from the newspaper said, “I saw that the helicopter was flying at a very low altitude. Suddenly it turned and collided with a jackfruit tree. After that there was a loud explosion. The weather was clear when the helicopter crashed.
The Hindu has written in its report, in such a situation, questions are being raised that why was the helicopter flying at such a low altitude? Did the pilot have any weather alerts from Air Traffic Control or Army Control? Tamil Nadu Police officials have told the newspaper that the entire matter is being investigated.
IG R Sudhakar, Tamil Nadu West Zone, reached the accident site from Coimbatore as soon as the news of the crash was received. The Special Task Force engaged in the anti-Maoist operation in Nilgiri district was also asked to go to the spot.
The helicopter that crashed is considered very reliable and safe in the Indian Air Force. The use of the Russian-made Mi-17V5 is common in the Indian Air Force in high-flying operations and relief operations. The Director and CEO of Planet-X Aerospace Services Ltd. told The Hindu, “The Mi-17V is a very reliable chopper. It is often used for relief and rescue work at altitude in states like Uttarakhand. The helicopter chosen by General Rawat to go to Wellington was absolutely right.
The newspaper has written in its report that on September 2, 2001, the helicopter crash of the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Rajasekhara Reddy took place in the mountainous area of Kurnool. The weather was bad then, yet the pilot was pressured to fly. No investigation report came out in this case. This is the practice of investigation in all other accidents. The newspaper has written that no lessons have been learned from the accidents of the past.
The newspaper wrote in its report, “The engine of MI-17 is very strong. Its downwash is also very effective. If the pilot is flying at a low altitude, then there is every possibility of circling the downwash trees. In this situation, there is a problem in seeing the pilot. Even the experienced pilot gets deceived in this situation.
“The helicopter is equipped with modern avionics. However, landing is difficult when there is low visibility and under cloudy conditions. Looking at the picture of the way the trees are broken, it seems that the rotors were damaged. When the speed slows down in low altitude flight, it is very difficult to accelerate it again. This helicopter was equipped with full authority digital electronic control. Even if the pilot applied too much pressure on the engine, the FADEC would have stopped it. There will be an internal military investigation into this matter and we will never know the full story.
The English newspaper, The Indian Express, has also published a report about the MI-17 V5 helicopter on which General Rawat was aboard. The newspaper has written in its report, this helicopter is popular all over the world. It also has a digital flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder.
The newspaper wrote in its report, “The helicopter that crashed General Rawat was part of a consignment of 80 MI-17 V5 in 2008. Aviation expert Angad Singh has told the newspaper that the order of 80 helicopters was later increased to 150.
- Precise and bold decisions
Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran has put a report on the death of General Rawat at the bottom of the front page – General Rawat was synonymous with bold and accurate decisions. In this report, the newspaper has written, “General Rawat was a name that was known for taking strict and accurate decisions. General Rawat was the Chief of the Army Staff before becoming the country’s first Chief of Defense Staff. While in this position, he took many important decisions and took them to the end.
The newspaper wrote, “In his illustrious career spanning 40 years, General Rawat made a golden journey from being commissioned in the Army to becoming the country’s first CDS with pride and valor, setting many milestones. Everyone was in awe of his talent. General Rawat had an important role in freeing India from extremism in the Northeast. General Rawat also had a leading role in destroying terrorist hideouts in Pakistan.