Prosecutor-General's Office names helicopter crash reasons [UPDATE]
By Ayya Lmahamad
First Deputy Prosecutor-General Elchin Mammadov has said that results of an investigation in the November 30 military helicopter crash showed that it had taken place "due to a pilot error", Trend reported on December 20.
He made the remarks at a briefing of the Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General's Office dedicated to the preliminary results of the investigation.
Mammadov added that an investigation group consisting of highly professional employees of the Prosecutor- General's Office, the Military Prosecutor's Office and the State Border Service conduct investigations into the criminal case.
It was noted that the group is led by the deputy head of the investigation department of the Prosecutor General's Office, Sanan Pashayev.
"During the investigation, numerous witnesses were interviewed, intensive investigative actions were carried out, various expertise was appointed, and an investigation was conducted," he said.
Noting that the helicopter was involved in the exercise in accordance with current regulations and pre-approved plan, he stated that no violations of regulatory requirements were revealed in this process.
He noted that Azerbaijan had obtained the records of the "black box" of the crashed helicopter.
"The 'black box' of the helicopter was opened by specialists of the producing company with the participation of employees of the Prosecutor-General's Office of Azerbaijan and the Czech prosecutor's office. All information, from the preparation for the flight to the crash, as well as audio recordings related to the control, were transferred to Azerbaijan," he said.
Mammadov recalled that in the helicopter crash, four people were thrown out during the crash, noting that two of them died on the spot, while two seriously injured survived. He emphasized that the criminal investigation continues, and the investigation progress will be made public.
Moreover, stating that upon departure of the military helicopter, weather information and wind speed were studied, Sanan Pashayev said that the investigation documents show that on that day the wind speed was 16-17 meters per second, which means that the wind speed allowed the flight.
"There were no violations in the movement of the helicopter along the route. The pilots simply had to make a landing against the wind. The pilots did not land according to the manufacturer's instructions. The crash happened because the helicopter landed in the wind direction. If it had landed in a different direction, the crash would not have happened," he said.
Pashayev added that there were no malfunctions in the helicopter 25 seconds before the crash. He noted that the service life of the crashed Mi-17 helicopter is 35 years.
He stated that the helicopter was sent for repair at the request of the helicopter manufacturer after eight years of operation, adding that the test flights were made after repair in 2021 and it was re-commissioned.
Pashayev added that there were no problems with the technical parameters of the helicopter. He said that before the crash on November 30, the helicopter was flying for 17 minutes and 24 seconds.
The head of the investigation group said that during preparation for the flight and during the flight, no malfunction was revealed in the helicopter.
“It was revealed that the helicopter crashed while landing. No malfunction was recorded in the helicopter 25 seconds before the crash. The helicopter crashed because the wind direction was not taken into account. Moreover, the actions that did not correspond to the flight method were taken,” he said.
Pashayev said that the pilots tried to improve the situation, but the helicopter rapidly lost altitude and crashed.
“We will publish photographs taken during the consideration of flight recorder information,” Pashayev said.
Additionally, the Prosecutor General's Office has disclosed the flight recorder parameters of the helicopter.
“Proceeding from the parameters, the vertical speed of the helicopter was higher than the level envisaged in the flight instructions. As a result, the pilots lost control of the helicopter and the helicopter crashed,” the message said.
A helicopter of the Azerbaijani State Border Service departed from the Sangachal airfield to participate in exercise and crashed while landing at the Garaheybat training center on November 30, as a result of which 14 were killed and two wounded.
The status of martyr will be assigned to the officers killed in the helicopter crash and they were buried in the second Alley of Martyrs in Baku.
An inspection of the scene was carried out with the participation of management of the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the State Border Service, as well as forensic, technical, fire and medical experts.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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