Woman killed in paragliding mishap in Bir Billing: Sudden change in wind direction likely cause, say officials - Hindustan Times
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Woman killed in paragliding mishap in Bir Billing: Sudden change in wind direction likely cause, say officials

By, Dharamshala
Apr 09, 2024 08:08 AM IST

The Kangra administration has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday to assess and address the circumstances surrounding the accident

A day after a paragliding accident that claimed the life of a 54-year-old woman in the high hills of Dhauladhar range, officials indicated that a sudden change in wind currents might have been a contributing factor to the accident.

According to officials aware of the development, deceased Ritu Chopra was an experienced pilot and had embarked on a solo flight (iStock)
According to officials aware of the development, deceased Ritu Chopra was an experienced pilot and had embarked on a solo flight (iStock)

According to officials aware of the development, deceased Ritu Chopra was an experienced pilot and had embarked on a solo flight. Wife of retired Indian Air Force officer Wing Commander Ashutosh Chandera Chopra, Ritu was a resident of Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida.

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She and her husband had taken off from Bir Billing, flying alongside each other. She reportedly crash-landed near Thati village in Baijnath tehsil. The Kangra administration has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday to assess and address the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Kangra superintendent of police (SP) Shalini Agnihotri said that the post-mortem has been done and the body was handed over to the family. “We are investigating the incident and preliminary indications suggest that the accident may have been caused by a sudden change in wind conditions. The family of the deceased was present during this process,” she said.

“The pilot was flying solo and had been engaged in paragliding activities in Bir Billing for approximately five years. We are awaiting the post-mortem report and insights from field experts. Once we have gathered all necessary information, we will be in a position to draw a conclusion regarding the circumstances of the accident,” she added.

A tourism department official said, “Both husband and wife were regular fliers and used to visit Bir Billing every year. It has been ascertained that she has been flying solo parallelly with her husband,” the official said.

A meeting has been called on Wednesday by the tourism department and district administration to review the situation. “All the stakeholders, including the representatives of paragliding associations, will attend the meeting. We will deliberate on what measures can be taken to avoid such incidents,” a tourism department official said.

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