Man hires chopper to bring bride home, 2 officials allegedly take joyride
A police officer and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) have come under flak from aviation experts for allegedly forcing the pilot of a helicopter to give them a free joyride in Musepur village of Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district on Monday.
District magistrate of Unnao, Devendra Pandey said he became aware of the issue in the evening and would speak to the officials concerned.
Aircraft engineer Ravi Singh had brought his bride Priyanka in a chopper to his native village Musepur to fulfill the last wish of his late grandfather Ghanshyam Singh.
Even as hundreds of people from the village and nearby areas watched this spectacle and cheered the newly-weds walking down the dusty road to the man’s ancestral house, Circle officer (CO), Hasanganj, Bheem Kumar Gautam and SDM Pradeep Verma boarded the helicopter.
Locals alleged that the two officers pressured the pilot for a joyride and remained in the air for more than 20 minutes before the chopper returned to the makeshift helipad.
The two officers were on duty around the helipad, built in the fields of village headman Ashish Tripathi.
When asked about the joyride, circle officer Gautam said they flew for less than five minutes and that too on the request of the groom’s family. “They had taken all the necessary clearances for the landing in my circle where I was on duty. We took the ride on the request of the couple and the family,” he said.
The groom’s family did not comment.
SDM Verma said that the chopper belonged to Ishan Airways and its owner Vishnu had come to seek permission from him two days ago. During the conversation, he offered the joyride.
“After the chopper landed today, Vishnu again called repeating his invite, which I accepted. The CO and I went in the air for five minutes and came down. I had informed my seniors and now I am regretting the ride. I should have not taken it,” he said.
Aviation experts said the act was against rules. The two officials did not fill the essential indemnity form nor did they take boarding passes. “How the pilot took them for a free joyride should be inquired into. In case there was a tragedy who would have taken the responsibility?” said an expert who did not wish to be named.
However, for Ravi who works in a Persian Gulf country where he had met Priyanka, it was enough that his grandfather last wish had been fulfilled.
In 2009, Ravi secured second position in the directorate general, civil aviation (DGCA) exams. His grandfather who retired as a railwayman, had then said that his grandson would bring his wife to the village in an aeroplane. He died within hours of getting the news of Ravi’s selection.
“I had taken a pledge that day that whenever I marry, I will come to the village with my wife in a chopper,” Ravi said.
He married on November 24 in Lucknow. His wife Priyanka is from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
Ravi hired the chopper from Lucknow for the journey to his ancestral house. His father Ram Kishore Yadav, sister Nidhi and brother Abhishek were also on the flight. People from 10 villages gathered around the helipad and cheered the couple as the helicopter landed.