MP Aircraft Crash: DGCA Probe Team Reaches Birsi Airport in Gondia in Maha; Bodies of Pilots Handed Over to Kin

An Air Safety Team (AST) of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation reached Birsi airport in Gondia district of Maharashtra on Sunday to investigate the aircraft crash which killed two pilots in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh a day before, an official said.

Authorities have not yet found the black box of the ill-fated aircraft belonging to the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRAU), sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP), Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, Durgesh Armon told PTI.

On Sunday, the bodies of flight instructor pilot Mohit Thakur and trainee pilot Vrikshanka Maheshwari who were killed in the aircraft crash in Balaghat district were handed over to their families.

“The bodies of both the deceased have been handed over to their families after completing formalities and the reason for the crash could only be ascertained after the probe,” IGRAU spokesperson Ramkishore Dwivedi said.

Thakur (24) was a resident of Brungal in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh and trainee pilot Maheshwari (19) hailed from Gandhidham in Kutch district of Gujarat, he said.

The trainer aircraft had taken off from the Birsi airstrip in Gondia district bordering Balaghat at around 3.06 pm on Saturday. It lost connection with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at 3.11 pm and crashed in the hills near Bhukkutola village in Balaghat, and caught fire, officials had said.

Meanwhile, a police officer from MP denied the claim that the aircraft might have crashed due to bad weather in the hilly area, about 40 km off the Balaghat district headquarters. The weather was clear, he said.

An IGRAU official had said on Saturday that bad weather could have caused the crash.

Teams of ATC Gondia and Amethi have not yet reached the crash site, an MP police official said. Meanwhile, Dwivedi said, “A two-member Air Safety Team has reached Birsi to probe the crash and the exact reason can be ascertained only after they submit their report. The aircraft involved in the mishap was a Diamond DA-40 type single-engine aircraft and such an aircraft does not have a black box. Moreover, the aircraft had been destroyed completely after the crash”.