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CBI blames pilot error for YSR helicopter crash

Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation has blamed pilot error for the helicopter crash in which former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajashekhar Reddy was killed.

Almost 10 months after the helicopter carrying YSR crashed in the Nalla Malla forests the CBI finalised and submitted its report on the tragic incident on Friday.

The recorded voice of the pilots saying “go around go around action” according to the CBI happened in the last few seconds before YSR’s helicopter crashed on September 2, 2009 in Nalla Malla forests of Andhra Pradesh.

Soon the helicopter crashed and the wreckage was found 24 hours later. Since then Andhra politics has plunged from one turmoil to another, feeling the absence of the man who led the state with an iron hand. But what led to the crash?

CBI’s findings reveal:

September 2009, 8:30 am: Bell 430 VT APG helicopter takes off from Begumpet Airport with chief minister YSR Reddy on board.

9:12 AM: Pilots observe red spots on radar, indicating dark clouds ahead. They apprehend rough weather but do not contact either the Chennai ATC or Hyderabad ATC.

9:20:59 AM : Pilot detects a problem in turbine oil. Asks co-pilot to see the manual and go through checklist to identify possible solutions.

9:26:58 AM: The co-pilot spends six precious minutes in going through the manual, while the chopper is losing altitude.

9:27:41 AM: Co-pilot warns of an approaching hill. His last words recorded in Cockpit Voice Recorder:” go around, go around action”.

9:27:42 AM: Loud siren sound emanates from the chopper indicating a crash.

The CBI concludes the crash is purely a result of human error as the pilots took the risk of continuing even after encountering rough weather conditions, when they should have turned back or landed immediately.

“We rule out any conspiracy or sabotage. The CBI has found that the chief minister’s chopper crashed as the pilots were not able to take the right decisions at the right time and instead wasted precious minutes in pondering over an insignificant oil problem,” CBI DIG VV Laxminarayana says.

While the CBI report closes the chapter on the YSR’s fatal crash, there is another chapter that is far from getting closed. It is that of his son YS Jagan Reddy’s political career. The big question still remains unanswered: Will Jagan Reddy be able to rise and shine in Andhra Pradesh politics?

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