Coonoor, Dec 9: Investigators on Thursday recovered the black box from the crash site of the Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that killed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 others in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor. The black box also known as a flight recorder will provide crucial details of the final minutes before the tragic accident.
According to the sources, the Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice Recorder of the chopper have been recovered from the site.
The military helicopter crash incident claimed the lives of 13 people including Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and his wife Madhulika Rawat.
The investigation into the military helicopter crash will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh.
General Rawat was travelling from Sulur to Wellington when his helicopter crashed near Coonoor.
What is a Black Box?
A Black Box is neither black in colour, nor box in shape, but is actually a compressor shaped device made in high-visibility orange colour. Experts disagree with how the nickname originated, but many historians attribute their invention to Australian scientist David Warren in the 1950s. A Black Box is mandatory for all commercial airliner and armed forces to preserve clues from cockpit sounds and data to help prevent future accidents.
A typical Black Box weighs about 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) and contains four main parts:
– A chassis or interface designed to fix the device and facilitate recording and playback
– An underwater locator beacon
– The core housing or ‘Crash Survivable Memory Unit‘ made of stainless steel or titanium
– Inside there, the precious finger-nail sized recording chips on circuit boards
While the older models used to record on wire, foil or reels of magnetic tape, modern versions use computer chips housed inside “crash-survivable” containers able to withstand g-forces 3,400 times the feeling of gravity. Since the crash and the unresolved disappearance in 2014 of Malaysian Airlines MH370, there has been intense debate about whether black boxes should stream live data back to the ground, which involves high cost and manpower.
Helicopter crash of CDS Bipin Rawat in Tamil Nadu
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, and 11 other persons who were on board IAF’s Mi-17V5 chopper died after it crashed near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday. The Indian Air Force (IAF), in a tweet, confirmed the death of CDS Rawat.
The death of CDS Bipin Rawat and others on Wednesday shines the spotlight on the Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, which have a history of accidents in India.
The Mi-17V5 is a modern transport helicopter used by the Indian Air Force. The chopper is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside its cargo cabin or on an external sling. The helicopter is capable of dropping tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance teams.