ONGC chopper crash: Voice data recorder traced

The helicopter crashed off Mumbai minutes after it took off for the state-owned company’s oil installation in the Arabian sea. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 14, 2018, 11.21 AM (IST)

The Indian Coast Guard on Sunday traced the Voice Data Recorder (VDR) of the Pawan Hans helicopter which crashed off the Mumbai coast yesterday, killing five out of seven people onboard.

The Navy has also widened its search operations for the other two missing crew members of the chopper.

"Search for the missing ONGC crew continues till recovery. Aircraft Voice Data Recorder (VDR) has been recovered and recovery of balance debris is in progress," said a Coast Guard spokesperson.

The helicopter crashed off Mumbai minutes after it took off for the state-owned company’s oil installation in the Arabian sea.

The Navy spokesperson informed that the two Fast Interceptor Craft, INS Tarasa and the frigate INS Teg, were coordinating the search in the area along with Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ships Samudra Prahari, Achook and Agrim. 

The INS Makar (a twin-hulled catamaran hydrography ship) from Karwar was also en route to area to augment search efforts, he said.

The ICGS Samrat also sailed out from Mumbai to join the search and rescue operations, he said.

Besides, ICG Dornier from Daman, IN Seaking 42 B from Shikra (helibase) and nine ONGC Vessels were also deployed for search in the area, he said.

The ONGC vessel TAG 15 undertaking side scan sonar operations have found some debris 600 yards from the wreckage position, the spokesperson said.

OSV TAG-15 (with side scan sonar) and OSV Samudra Sevak are currently undertaking survey in the area all other IN, ICG and ONGC assets are participating in the search for locating the missing crew and debris of aircraft.   

The diving team from Samudra Sevak vessel is preparing to undertake the search while the team from INS Teg is kept on standby, he said.

The helicopter crash is not the first accident in ONGC's history. In August 2003, a Mi-172 helicopter crashed off the Mumbai coast killing 27 people and pilot on-board.

Pawan Hans Ltd said in a statement that the French-made Dauphin SA 365N3 helicopter met with an accident and the chopper crash is being probed by the aviation regulation DGCA