M A I N   N E W S

Helipad guidelines were violated
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 13
A day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet colleague Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa had a narrow escape in a helicopter crash, various theories are being put forward in officials Circles regarding the reasons for the accident.

The district authorities who made arrangements for the landing, officials deputed in the Chief Ministerís security who checked the arrangements and the pilot are being held responsible for the accident.

Sources said as per rules, there should be no electric wire or building within a distance of 270 feet from the helipad. The helipad at Bahadur Rajoa village was within 100 feet of the electric wires and a two-storeyed building.

If the helipad was made on kucha surface, the authorities should have got water sprayed at the spot and rolled the surface to minimise dust at the time of landing. The water is sprayed again before take off.

Yesterday, no water was sprayed and a lot of dust was generated at the time of take off, obscuring the wires from the view of the pilot. The district authorities and security staff of the Chief Minister had to check the arrangements a day before the programme.

The pilot is also given a detailed description of the wires, buildings and other obstructions present at the landing site by the district authorities. In this case, the pilot took the helicopter towards the wires without gaining adequate height. Either the pilot was not properly briefed about the obstructions in the area or he ignored the information.

A team from the Directorate of Civil Aviation visited the site of the accident today. The team would submit the inquiry report to the Director Civil Aviation.



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