Air Marshal Manavendra Singh to lead inquiry in IAF chopper crash that killed Gen Bipin Rawat, 12 others

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has launched a tri-services Court of Inquiry (CoI) to look into every aspect of the ill-fated MI-17 V5 Helicopter which crashed in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday leading to the death of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and 12 others.

The Defence Minister said, “IAF has ordered a tri-service inquiry into the military chopper crash. The investigation will be led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh.”

The inquiry team reached Wellington on Wednesday itself and started the investigation, said Rajnath Singh during his address to the lawmakers in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on Thursday.

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The last rites of the mortal remains of CDS and the others will be done with full military honours, added Rajnath Singh.

Air Marshal Manavendra Singh is currently the Air Officer Commander in Chief, Training Command which takes care of the entire training related issues of the IAF. 

Air Marshal Singh was Commissioned in December 1982 and is himself a helicopter pilot with an experience of more than 6600 flying hours. Among the other appointments during his long career he also has served as the Director General Inspection and Flight Safety. 

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Thirteen of the 14 people on board the helicopter died in the crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, Defence Advisor Brigadier Lakhvinder Singh Lidder, Lt. Col. Harjinder Singh and Air force Helicopter crew along with nine other Armed forces personnel.

The names of the other nine, as read out by the minister are, Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan, Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh, JWO Rana Pratap Das, JWO Arakkal Pradeep, Havaldar Satpal Rai, Naik Gursevak Singh, Naik Jitendra Kumar, Lance Naik Vivek Kumar, Lance Naik B Sai Teja.

Tamil Nadu CM #MKStalin and Telangana Governor #TamilisaiSoundararajan paid floral tributes to the mortal remains of CDS Gen #BipinRawat and others who died in a #HelicopterCrash in Tamil Nadu’s #Coonoor.Express photos | @rk_clicks.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) December 9, 2021