Bipin Rawat Chopper Crash What Is CFIT Concept? – Free PDF Download

The News

The News

  • After the unfortunate chopper crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor that led to the demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 Air Force personnel, a tri services committee was established to inquire into the reasons for the incident.
  • More than a month after the crash , the tri-Services Court of Inquiry has submitted its preliminary findings to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

What was the reason of Crash?

  • The tri-services inquiry committee was headed by IAF Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command.
  • Inquiry team analysed input from the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder (Commonly referred as Black Box).
  • The team also questioned all available witnesses to determine the most probable cause of the accident and concluded that, there was out no foul play or mechanical failure, sabotage or negligence.

What was the reason of Crash?

  • Preliminary Inquiry Report
    • “The accident was a result of the entry into clouds due to an unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot, resulting in Controlled Flight into Terrain“.
    • Based on these findings, apparently, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations that are being reviewed.

What is CFIT?

  • Controlled Flight into Terrain is a reference to a situation when an aircraft unintentionally hits terrain, like a mountain, waterbody, or any other obstacle.
  • In aviation, a controlled flight into terrain is also called CFIT which is usually pronounced as see-fit.
  • It means an airworthy aircraft, under pilot control, is unintentionally flown into the ground, a mountain, a body of water or an obstacle.
  • Spatial disorientation is the inability of a pilot to correctly interpret aircraft attitude, altitude or airspeed in relation to the Earth or other points of reference. Spatial disorientation in aircraft can arise from flight situations or visual misinterpretation. Banks and turns often create false sensations.


  • Between 1993 & 2002, Controlled flight into terrain or CFIT was identified as a cause of 25% of United States Air Force (USAF) mishaps.
  • Prominent Personalities who lost their lives in air mishaps:
    • Homi Jehangir Bhabha 1966
    • Sanjay Gandhi 1980
    • Madhavrao Scindia 2001
    • YS Rajashekhara Reddy 2009




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