Sunday, August 25, 2019

Uttarakhand: DGCA suspends helicopter services for relief ops after twin crashes

New Delhi: Following accidents of two helicopters on relief sorties in landslide-affected Uttarakhand, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended chopper operations in the hill state till the state comes out with procedures for safe flights. Till that happens, the regulator will allow chopper flights there in emergency situation under the direct supervision of its flight operating inspector for helicopters. Uttarakhand has been seeing heavy rains that led to landslides after which choppers were pressed into service for relief activities.
On Wednesday (August 21) a chopper of Heritage Aviation hit apple cart cables after taking off and chopper crashed, killing all three — including pilot and engineer — on board. Two days later, a chopper of Aryan Aviation during a flight also hit apple cart cables and crashed, Luckily in this accident, the two persons on board survived and received minor injuries.
Taking a serious view of these back-to-back accidents, DGCA chief Arun Kumar suspended chopper operations in Uttarakhand on Friday. The regulator held a meeting on Saturday with the state’s civil aviation development authority (UCADA), representatives of the two firms whose helicopters had crashed and other stakeholders.
24/08/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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