Preliminary probe by aviation regulator DGCA into the Faridabad air crash that claimed ten lives today pointed towards technical malfunction and high velocity winds as possible major reasons for the mishap.
Sources close to probe team of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said the small single-engine turboprop Pilatus PC 12 aircraft could not apparently withstand the strong winds and a storm in the area and the pilots probably lost control, leading to the crash last night.
Minutes before the crash, the commander of the ill-fated plane, Capt Harpreet, reported to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Delhi that he was facing bad weather, the sources said, adding that he was asked by the ATC not to descend.
The preliminary report of the probe has been submitted to the civil aviation ministry, they said.
Civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi said in Delhi that a committee of inquiry has been set up by the ministry to probe all aspects of the accident.
The ill-fated Swiss-made aircraft had a capacity to carry nine passengers and two pilots. The plane belonging to the Air Charter Services India Private Limited had crashed just 15 minutes before landing at the Delhi IGI airport killing seven people onboard and three - all women - on ground.
The sources said only 60 per cent of the entire aircraft, including parts of its fuselage and the tail, have been found and the remaining portion, including the cockpit, has been completely damaged and charred in the blaze.
The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) or the black box are not installed in small planes like the one which crashed, the sources said.
The six-member DGCA team inspected the crash site, conducted wreckage-spotting and took photographs to study the impact, and how the aircraft crashed, when and where it hit the houses and where the bodies were found.
The team also conducted longitude-latitude readings and mapping of the crash site through the Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment.
The small air ambulance aircraft was on a flight to Delhi from Patna when it crashed into roof of the two houses here in bad weather and caught fire. The plane was ferrying a critically ill patient Rahul Raj, a 20-year-old Patna-based businessman, to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi.
The inspector of inquiry, appointed by the civil aviation ministry, would take charge of all the material evidence including the entire wreckage and hand it over to the enquiry panel set up by the ministry.
During the probe, the DGCA officials would also go through the maintenance record and other documents pertaining to the aircraft. As per the DGCA records, the turboprop single engine plane was manufactured in 2005 and was registered this year in January.
A working group has also been set up by the government to review existing safety regulatory frame work of general aviation, non-scheduled operators' permit (NSOP) holders and air ambulance operations.
Meanwhile, the Haryana government as well as the aircraft charter company which was operating the air ambulance announced Rs2 lakh each separately for the three women killed on the ground in Parvatiya Nagar.
In Chandigarh, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda expressed shock over the tragedy and announced a compensation of Rs2 lakh each to the next of kin of the three deceased women. He also announced a financial assistance of Rs20,000 to each of the three injured.
He said the damage caused to the house due to the plane crash would be assessed and their owners duly compensated.