What May Have Caused Raisi’s Copter Crash?

Analytics 10:04 21.05.2024

Iranian President Raisi’s helicopter was a US-made Bell-212, an outdated but very reliable vehicle most likely fitted with new engines, Vadim Bazykin, an honored Russian helicopter test pilot, Ednews informs that he told this to Sputnik.

President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran died in a helicopter crash in the Islamic Republic’s East Azerbaijan province on Sunday. The Iranian president’s helicopter made a "hard landing" after it got into trouble in heavy fog near the city of Jolfa, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran.

Helicopters are all-weather vehicles, Vadim Bazykin, a veteran Russian helicopter test pilot, said in an interview with Sputnik.

“A helicopter’s weakest point is, unfortunately, the crew because not many pilots are able to fly in bad weather,” Bazykin said, adding that an experienced crew should know the ABC of flying over mountainous terrain.
"The mountainous area has its own characteristics. First and foremost, there is a slope that is warmed up, and there is a shady slope, where serious bumpiness is in place. Namely, an experienced pilot who has flown in the mountains knows all this very well, and he should foresee everything," the expert noted.

Bazykin said that he was once involved in transporting Russian top-rank officials and that he always picked mature pilots "who know how to say no" to continuing a flight amid bad weather. "Pilots are like actors, and they think they are cool, thinking to themselves that if two helicopters earlier flew safely, they can fly so too," the expert said, referring to Raisi’s helicopter and the accompanying choppers.

He also referenced the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, which killed then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski and all 96 people on board, which was caused by pilot’s error. At the time, the Kaczynski pilots unsuccessfully tried to land the plane in thick fog. "Half an hour before, a certain aircraft managed to land so the pilot thought he could also land [Kaczynski's] plane but failed to do so. This is psychology," Bazykin said.

When entering an area with dense fog, the Raisi copter’s pilots were obliged to calculate a safe height, the expert went on to say. According to him, the chopper seems to have flown below the permissible height.
"The fog is usually only 300-500 meters thick. The pilots should have checked meticulously if there was any chance to land and if not – they should have flown back. There should be no other options," the expert underscored.

Touching upon a possible technical defect of Raisi’s US-made Bell-212 helicopter, Bazykin emphasized that security comes first when it comes to presidential vehicles.

He added that even though the presidential helicopter was "a very reliable" yet outdated vehicle, it was almost certainly equipped with new engines because of security considerations.

"So there is no need to blame technical problems that caused the crash of Raisi’s vehicle," the expert concluded.

 

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