Crashed chopper was purchased in 2007, overhauled twice: Chhattisgarh officials | Latest News India

RAIPUR: The state chopper that crashed on Thursday evening leaving two pilots lifeless was overhauled twice after it was bought in 2007, officers mentioned on Friday.

A workforce of the directorate common of civil aviation (DGCA) reached Raipur on Friday for investigation at the same time as officers mentioned that there might be a malfunction within the tail rotor of the chopper that led to the crash.

“The dual-engine ‘AW 109 energy elite’ was overhauled twice, final in 2017, and the precise engine was overhauled as soon as and later was changed with a brand new one round a 12 months again,” mentioned Neelam Namdeo Ekka, director, aviation, Chhattisgarh, including that there have been no technical issues within the engine.

On Thursday night, the chopper crashed when the state authorities’s senior pilot Captain Gopal Krishna Panda was on an evening apply sortie with examiner of DGCA, captain A P Shrivastava, who had arrived from Delhi, at Swami Vivekanand Airport. Each the pilots died within the crash.

“On Thursday, Panda had sought permission that they have been planning on doing evening apply sortie for flying forex for which I granted the approval. On Thursday night, the primary apply session began through which Panda himself was an examiner of one other pilot Pankaj Jaiswal and the session ended safely. The second session began through which Shrivastav was the examiner of Panda and it’s on this session the chopper crashed,” mentioned Ekka.

Individuals accustomed to the matter mentioned that the mentioned chopper was utilized by senior bureaucrats, ministers and the chief minister however for the reason that Congress authorities got here in energy, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has been utilizing one other chopper which was employed by the state authorities.

An announcement issued by the Chhattisgarh authorities on Friday mentioned that the mentioned helicopter was acquired from Hong Kong primarily based firm Sharp Ocean Funding Non-public Restricted, an authorised vendor of Agusta-Westland Firm, Italy, for $65.70 million ( 26.58 crore).

“Initially, it was to be bought instantly from Augusta Firm, for which a suggestion of direct buy was acquired for $63.15 lakh. An exemption of $2 lakh was given by the corporate on the premium quantity. To avail the exemption, three officers had gone to barter with Sharp Ocean Funding Non-public Restricted, at Hong Kong, whereby it was resolved to be bought for $61.45 lakh ( 25.31 crore). Nevertheless, the mentioned buy proposal was cancelled on account of a delay within the course of. Thereafter in 2007 itself, after the crash of the federal government’s helicopter Maina (Eurocopter), a worldwide tender was floated and the aforementioned helicopter was bought,” the assertion mentioned.

Officers mentioned {that a} workforce of DGCA arrived in Raipur for the investigation and prima facie it appears the tail rotor of the chopper malfunctioned that brought about the crash throughout apply session.

“More often than not the chopper was stored grounded due to some unavailable elements however no technical snag within the chopper on Thursday night,” mentioned Ekka.

Officers claimed that the identical chopper suffered technical glitches thrice earlier additionally. In 2016 and February 2018, technical snags have been reported when the then chief minister Raman Singh was flying whereas in 2016, the then state minister Brijmohan Agrawal, needed to make precautionary touchdown after an engine snag was discovered.

The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter and claimed that the upkeep of the chopper was not completed correctly which led to the crash.

“The pilot Gopal Krishna Panda was an skilled man and he was accustomed to the entire of Chhattisgarh. I don’t know what occurred final evening however a high-level inquiry needs to be ordered … I imagine there was some sort of negligence in upkeep of the chopper which needs to be correctly investigated,” mentioned chief of opposition within the legislative meeting and senior BJP MLA, Dharmlal Kaushik.

Senior Congress spokesperson Shushil Anand Shukla mentioned that the federal government has ordered an inquiry over the incident however the BJP shouldn’t do politics on such unhappy incidents.

“The chief of the opposition ought to keep away from politics over such points,” mentioned Shukla.

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