Friday, May 26, 2017

Maharashtra CM's helicopter was well-maintained, claim officials

The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) will investigate the crash-landing of the chopper that was carrying chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at Nilanga on Thursday. But an official at the directorate of aviation has claimed that the chopper had no maintenance issues and all the parameters were followed.
Madhav Godbole, deputy director with the directorate, said, "The chopper is only meant to fly VVIPs, that is, the CM and governor. With the DGCA watching our backs, a strict maintenance schedule is followed. Though details of the schedule cannot be given, we can say for sure that all parameters to ensure safety of the chopper were followed religiously."
According to preliminary reports, when the chopper took off, a huge dust cloud was formed and the pilots, while trying to avoid it, few into cable wires.
However, aviation experts believe that the state needs to do much more to ensure proper maintenance of its existing fleet of aircraft and choppers.
Aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar said the state's aviation department's record of aircraft and helicopter maintenance leaves a lot to be desired. "Almost half of the state's fleet of helicopters and aircraft is grounded. Out of the two helicopters it has, a Dauphin chopper is grounded since almost five years and now, the other VT-CMM Sikorsky S76C helicopter has crash-landed," he said.
26/05/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India