IAF has ordered tri-service investigation into chopper crash

Tags: National News

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered a tri-service investigation led by Air Marshal Manavendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command, in the Mi 17 V5 chopper crash in Tamil Nadu on 8th December in which Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 officials of the Armed Forces were killed.

Black box of the ill-fated chopper has been recovered by the investigation team.

What is a tri-service inquiry?

It is a kind of an inquiry, in which the representatives of three armed forces - Army, Navy and Air Force--will be included..

  • The inquiry will also include a thorough investigation of the black box and the remaining debris of the helicopter.
  • Such kind of an inquiry includes four important points: Human error, mechanical error, weather conditions and terror attack."

Normally a chopper crash inquiry is done by the Air Force officials only, but since the list of deceased includes the CDS, a tri-service inquiry has been ordered.

Black Box

A black box is a device (Similar to a hard disk) that is installed in aircraft to help investigators in case of unfortunate accidents. 

  • It is a highly protective machine that records all flight data and conversations in the cockpit. Apart from recording cockpit conversations, the recorder also holds information on automatic computer announcements, radio traffic, discussions with the crew and announcements to the passengers.
  • There are two types of flight recording devices: 
    • Flight Data Recorder (FDR) that stores all the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected multiple times per second
    • Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) that records cockpit sound including pilot conversations.

Why is it called Black Box?

The term “black box” was first used by the British during World War Two and referred to the secret development of radar and electronic navigational aids in British aircraft. These secretive devices were housed in non-reflective black boxes.

  • The black is usually of bright orange colour, which makes it easier to spot amid the wrangled mess of the crash.

While crashes can happen anywhere both on land and over seas, the flight recorder is designed in a way that it can be recovered from underwater locations as well. The device sends out a signal on contact with saltwater that can be picked up within a radius of about two kilometres. The device can withstand water pressure found in depths of up to 6,000 meters.

Double wrapped in a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel container with high-temperature insulation, the black box is designed to withstand the harshest crashes -- on the land and seas.

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