An Indian Air Force inquiry has found five officers of the IAF guilty of shooting down its Mi-17 chopper which was shot down near Srinagar. 6 IAF personnel on board were killed as the MI-17 Chopper was mistaken for a hostile missile and shot-down.
The inquiry found that the MI-17 chopper was brought down by friendly fire from Israeli Spyder air defence missile system. The IAF court found a Group Captain, two Wing Commanders and two Flight Lieutenants guilty of neglect and not following a correct procedure while shooting down the helicopter.
The inquiry found that the officers who handled the air defence system at the Srinagar airbase mistook the helicopter, returning midway from a mission, for an incoming missile.
The MI-17 helicopter crashed within 10 minutes after takeoff, while an intense dogfight took place between Indian and Pakistani Air Forces. The court of inquiry was delayed as the MI-17’s black box had to be recovered from villagers in Budgam. Besides the six IAF personnel, a civilian too died when the helicopter was shot down.