The IAF chopper crash on December 8, 2021 that killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat and 13 others was due to an unexpected change in weather that led to spatial disorientation of the pilot, stated the preliminary findings submitted by the tri-services court of inquiry.
"The tri-services court of inquiry into the Mi-17 V5 accident on December 8, 2021, has submitted its preliminary findings," the Indian Air Force's statement said on January 14.
The court of inquiry has ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence as a cause of the accident, it said. "The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT)," it stated. According to U.S.aviation regulator FAA, CFIT is defined as an unintentional collision with terrain — the ground, a mountain, a body of water, or an obstacle — while an aircraft is under positive control.