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  Metros   Mumbai  08 Sep 2017  After three accidents involving CM, Maha to buy two choppers

After three accidents involving CM, Maha to buy two choppers

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHRUTI GANAPATYE
Published : Sep 8, 2017, 2:11 am IST
Updated : Sep 8, 2017, 2:11 am IST

In May the Bel 230 private helicopter ferrying the CM encountered a technical snag where one of its engines failed to start.

A Sikorsky helicopter of the CM met with an accident in Latur on May 26 this year.
 A Sikorsky helicopter of the CM met with an accident in Latur on May 26 this year.

Mumbai: It wasn’t before chief minister Devendra Fadnavis escaped three chopper accidents that the state government decided to buy two new helicopters; one for him and the other for naxal-infested Gadchiroli. The decision was taken on Thursday during the cabinet meeting. The state also decided to donate its Dauphin helicopter to an educational institute as its condition is beyond repair.

The state-owned fleet comprises four crafts — a Citation Excel plane and a Dauphin helicopter, both of which are grounded as they are due for inspection; the Sirkosky helicopter which met with an accident in Latur; and a Beechcraft Super King Air 350, which is still in working condition.

A senior official from the state civil aviation department said, “The cabinet has decided to buy two choppers — one for the CM and the other for the naxal infested area. The two choppers meant for the CM are beyond repair. The one used by CRPF in thenaxal area has been hired from Pavan Hans which costs more. Hence, it was decided to have our own choppers.”The government will chalk out technical and VIP requirements for the choppers after which tenders will be floated. “It is better to have our own choppers rather than paying huge rent to private companies. The chopper procurement will take some time but soon, the state will have its own choppers,” the official added.

In May the Bel 230 private helicopter ferrying the CM encountered a technical snag where one of its engines failed to start. Sources in DGCA revealed that the helicopter had been bought from the Uttar Pradesh government by a private company. Currently, it is with U.Y. Aviation Private Limited. In May, the state government empaneled two private aviation firms i.e. Adonis and Aloft from which it hires copters and planes. According to officials in the state aviation department, the companies were chosen after a tendering process.

In another incident in May, the CM’s helicopter crash-landed at Nilanga in Latur district after it suffered a snag. Luckily, he escaped unhurt. The CM met with yet another chopper accident on July 8 in Alibaug but escaped injury once again.

Tags: devendra fadnavis, chopper accidents