CM recounts chopper accident

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Fadnavis met with a serious accident in Latur in the last week of May and also had a close shave again in June, in Raigad.

MUMBAI: The State government is preparing a Helipad Location Policy to find a permanent solution for landing helicopters in remote areas for VIPs. The government is also going to carry out an audit of all existing permanent helipads in the State. 

The government has also decided that an IG-level officer will look after VIPs’ security, and he will be asked to ensure standard operating procedure (SOP) for the security of VIPs while flying.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was replying to questions raised by members of Council about the helicopter accidents the CM has been through. While replying to the question, he shared the horrible incident of his helicopter accident at Alibaug. He said the experience was shocking and unbelievable. 

According to the SOP set by DGCA,  engines of a chopper should start after a person sits inside. “But it was already operational before we reached the helipad,” said Fadnavis. He said that DGCA’s internal investigation agency AAIB has asked two private companies to probe another accident in Nilanga, Latur. 

Captain Sanjay Karve and co-pilot Captain Mohit Sharma’s flying licences have been cancelled by DGCA after the Latur incident.  

Fadnavis met with a serious accident in Latur in the last week of May and also had a close shave again in June, in Raigad. Congress MLC Sharad Ranpise raised this issue in the House on Wednesday and expressed deep concern over CM Fadnavis’s security. Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde termed both incidents serious and said they must be probed thoroughly. 

Looking at the concern of the entire house, Fadnavis himself narrated the story of the Alibaug incident. “Generally, we get down from the chopper only when the rotors stop totally. But that day, I came out even before it stopped. We hadn’t noticed it there itself, but when we returned to the helipad after the programme, the chopper had already started. This doesn’t happen in standard operating procedure,” he said.

He said, “Education Minister Vinod Tawde was with me. I came to the left door, while he went to the other one. But, even before I reached the chopper, it moved in a straight direction. As soon as I noticed it, I backed away from the chopper. Tawde also ran away from his side,” he said.

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