Monday, August 14, 2017

Civil chopper role also out of Hadapsar case radar

Pune:  The mystery surrounding the helicopter, from which an iron object fell on a house in the Ramtekdi slum on August 8 evening, has further deepened with the airport authorities here on Sunday reiterating that there was "zero movement" of civil choppers at that time. On Saturday, the Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities said none of their aircraft was involved in the incident.
"The defence authorities' statement is perplexing, but then we wouldn't comment on that. We have done our investigations and found that there was no movement of any civil chopper to and from the Pune airport. The incident is serious, and fortunately no one was injured," an airport official told TOI.
An iron object weighing around 5kg allegedly fell from a helicopter on a house in the Ramtekdi slums of Hadapsar around 5.15pm on August 8. The object pierced through the tin roof as well as the first-floor tile of Benit Francis Lobo's house before crashing on the ground floor.
The Wanowrie police had requested the Air Traffic Control, which is managed by the IAF, for a report and done a panchnama of the object. "We have done complete checks. There are four private helipads in Pune and have checked with them as well. They confirmed to us that their choppers weren't flying at that time," the airport official said.
City-based aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar said all choppers need to take a permission from the ATC for flying. "If the chopper is flying in an area controlled by a particular ATC, they need to inform it in advance before the take-off in advance. It is a procedure that has to be followed," he said.
14/08/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India