Saturday, December 09, 2017

Helicopter ferrying Devendra Fadnavis makes precautionary landing in Nashik

Mumbai: A twin-engine helicopter ferrying Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to Aurangabad made a precautionary landing within seconds of take-off from a helipad in Nashik on Saturday after the pilots felt it would be safer to reduce the weight of the aircraft.
In the past ten months, the chief minister has been involved in two helicopter incidents, including one crash landing. On Saturday, the EC 135 helicopter, chartered by the BJP from Indiabulls, lifted off around 9.30am from Nasik police parade ground. The helicopter has a capacity to carry five passengers and two pilots. Including the chief minister, it had only four passengers and their luggage on board. But eyewitnesses' accounts said that there was quite a lot of baggage aboard as Fadnavis was to go to Nagpur from Aurangabad for the winter session which begins on Monday.
"After the helicopter took off, we were about to leave the helipad that is when we saw the the helicopter coming back to the ground and landing," said an official. Among the passengers were Fadnavis, medical education and irrigation minister Girish Mahajan, Abhimanyu Pawar, CM's Personal Assistant and Satish, CM's cook. "The weight of the copter had to be reduced and the cook and some of the luggage was offloaded,'' the official added.
Capt Sanjay Karve, director, civil aviation for the state government, said, "The helicopter lifted off and came into a hover and it was comfortable. At that point of time, the crew must have felt they do not have sufficient power margin to clear the trees near the helipad. Prudence demands that if you have an element of doubt, it is better to land.''
09/12/17 Bhavika Jain/Times of India