Friday, May 26, 2017

Fadnavis chopper crash: Bought in 2011, was used for official trips of CM, Governor

Mumbai: The Sikorsky S76 C++, the helicopter that crash-landed in Nilanga, Latur, on Thursday undertook nearly 60 hours of flight every month, said senior officials from the operational team of the chopper at Juhu airport. The Sikorsky six-seater chopper, bought for Rs 52 crore by the state in December 2011, was exclusively used for official trips of the chief minster and Governor of Maharashtra.
The pilot of the twin-engine chopper took a call to make an “emergency landing” minutes after take-off on Thursday when he sensed a “loss of control”. “As the chopper had not attained much height, nobody received serious injuries. The chopper suffered substantial damage,” said a senior DGCA official.
The chopper was being used to its full capacity since the past six years, officials said. “It would do 60 hours of flying every month. It was next planned for use in the CM’s Gadchiroli tour on drought-relief measures,” said an official involved with its upkeep.
The chopper would be stationed at the government’s hangar in Juhu aerodrome. “So popular was it that even other cabinet ministers would covet to use it for their trips. They would require the prior permission of the CM, however,” the official said.
26/05/17 Neha Kulkarni/Indian Express