Overloading, unsafe helipads led to recent chopper mishaps in Maharashtra: DGCA

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has now asked operators and pilots to follow necessary Civil Aviation Requirements; violations of which will be taken seriously.

mumbai Updated: Aug 20, 2017 01:22 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
DGCA,chopper crash,Devendra Fadnavis
The wreckage of the helicopter, carrying Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team, that crashed-landed in Latur.(PTI Photo)

After chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had a series of narrow escapes in helicopter mishaps this year, the aviation regulator on Saturday issued a circular stating that recent accidents were because the helicopters were overloaded, and the unsafe sites chosen as helipads.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has now asked operators and pilots to follow necessary Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs); violations of which will be taken seriously.

This comes after Fadnavis survived three helicopter mishaps. The latest accident took place in July when the helicopter took off while Fadnavis was boarding, and its wings had allegedly come close to his head.

The second was on May 25 in Latur when the helicopter crash-landed immediately after take-off and then got entangled in electric cable wires.

The first incident took place on May 12 this year when the CM’s helicopter developed a technical snag mid air and was forced to go back.

The state government had then asked the state civil aviation department to draft a policy for selecting a helipad location and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)s for helicopter operations.

The circular is signed by Captain Atul Chandra, chief flight operations inspector for the Director General of DGCA.

Listing the reasons of recent helicopter accidents in an advisory operations circular dated June 1, the aviation regulator stated that gross negligence was observed by the operators or pilots while choosing the helipad site, which they found had obstructions in the nearby areas.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 01:22 IST