New Delhi: An official probe into a 2010 Pawan Hans helicopter accident in Arunachal Pradesh has come to the conclusion that a cabin crew member fell to his death from about 10,000 feet while he attempted to shut a door which had opened in-flight.
The accident "occurred due to falling of the cabin crew from the helicopter while he was attempting to close the forward left hand passenger door in-flight," the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which carried out the investigation, said in its final report.
The mangled body of 37-year-old Dhananjoy Roy, who hailed from Hashimara in North Bengal, was later recovered from a paddy field at Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh after he fell off the 24-seater MI-172 on August six, 2010, around 1110 hours.
The helicopter was flying from Namsai to Tezu in Lohit district and Roy was one of its five-member cabin crew.
The DGCA found the flight crew to be "properly qualified to undertake flying duties. Crew qualification is not the contributory factor to the accident. .... The cabin crew was trained for his duties and responsibilities in cabin during helicopter operation."
"The cabin attendant fell outside with the opening of the door as he was holding the cable attached at the top end of the door," the inquiry report said.
The probe also found that the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) "did not have recordings of the sector in which the accident occurred. Both had recordings of the post-accident period". Besides, the quality of recording of CVR was very poor.
The DGCA concluded that data monitoring was "very cumbersome with the present CVR and FDR equipment" and recommended that the feasibility of replacing them with new generation solid-state CVR and FDR in the MI-172 choppers should be explored.