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Sunday, 29 November 2009

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Four member team probe helicopter crash

A four member committee appointed by Sri Lanka Air Force is conducting investigations into the MI 24 helicopter gunship that crashed in Buttala on Friday afternoon, Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said yesterday.

“The four member committee headed by Air Vice Marshal Gagana Bulathsinhala visited the scene on Friday evening and the continuing investigations to ascertain the real causes behind the crash of the helicopter which was on a training mission”, Wing Commander Nanayakkara added.

The Air Force on Friday mentioned technical failure as the immediate reason for the helicopter crash.

Group Captain Abhaya Nanayakkara, Wing Commander Manoj Keppetipola, and Squadron Leader Malinda Perera have been appointed other members of the committee.

The Air Force Spokesman said that it would take more time for the probe committee to come to a conclusion over the incident as the parts of the helicopter were burnt to ashes.

However, the Air Force has received eye witness accounts into the incident.

Pilots in another helicopter which was flying close to the crashed MI 24 helicopter have observed it.

According to Wing Commander Nanayakkara, two pilots Squadron Leader Esala Dodanmaluwa and Flight Lieutenant Rehan Fernando and two air gunners, Corporal Jayantha Sirisena and Corporal Chandrawansha Bandara Ratnayake were killed in the crash.

 

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