Weather blamed for chopper crash

Weather blamed for chopper crash

Weather blamed for chopper crash

Senior officials, including the president and the chief of General Staff, attend an Ankara funeral for a slain pilot who was killed along with 16 others in a crash. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

President Abdullah Gül was briefed yesterday on the military helicopter crash in Siirt by a top commander from the Land Forces, Lieutenant General Salih Zeki Çolak, and Major General Hamza Koçyiğit from the aviation school command.

Terrorists were not involved in a helicopter crash that killed 17 military personnel in the southeastern province of Siirt on Nov. 10, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a statement yesterday, stressing that regular maintenance had been undertaken on the aircraft.

The TSK’s evaluation concluded that the helicopter crashed due to “changing meteorological conditions,” according to a statement posted on the TSK’s website.

In reference to claims of poor maintenance on the helicopter, the statement said the S-70 Sikorsky type helicopter was produced in 2000 and had a minimum lifetime of 10,000 flight hours. The helicopter, which was under the control of experienced pilots at the time of the crash, had flown 1,845 hours and “necessary regular maintenance was undertaken, as with other helicopters.” The TSK cited meteorological conditions as the culprit, saying the weather was muggy with light rain showers. Having appropriate visibility range, the brigade command decided to conduct an air landing.

Referencing Turkey’s struggle with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Turkish prime minister yesterday said similar accidents might happen in the process of the “much intensified, multi-dimensional fight.” The fight has to be continued persistently, taking measures and keeping sensitivity at the top level in order to prevent a repeat of these accidents, he said.

Farewell bid to troops

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The funerals of 14 of the 17 troops killed in the helicopter crash in Siirt were held yesterday in their hometowns.
Lieutenant Pilot Yakup Çınar, 27, who was among the soldiers killed in the crash, was buried yesterday after a funeral ceremony held at Ankara Kocatepe Mosque. During the funeral, the deceased soldier’s wife, Fethiye Çınar, who is three-months’-pregnant, broke down in tears.
President Abdullah Gül, the Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Constitutional Court head Haşim Kılıç, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and top officials attended Çınar’s funeral.
Other funerals were held in Kırklareli, Mersin and Erzurum.