DGCA begins investigation

DGCA begins investigation

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday began investigation into the emergency landing of the Schweizer-300C helicopter piloted by Roj Assey. The chopper was dismantled and taken back to HAL after the authorities made an inspection of the accident spot.

A DGCA team from Hyderabad reached Bangalore Friday morning and questioned the pilots of the chopper. The team reached the mishap site at GM Palya at 11 am and conducted a thorough inspection lasting over three hours. One of the officials, M J Singh, stayed back till the chopper was mounted on an HAL truck at night.

Officials said the pilot, in his statement, had said the emergency landing had to be done on account of an engine failure, which prevented him from hovering around for longer and find another place for landing.

The chopper, belonging to HAL’s Rotary Wing Academy (RWA), was on a sortie on Thursday when the pilots experienced an engine failure after two hours ten minutes. Both the instructor, Assey, 58, and civilian trainee pilot Digvijay Singh escaped unhurt. Even the chopper is in tact with only minor damage to the blades.

Answering a question, Singh said: “We have concluded the inspection. The investigation will have to be continued. A report will be made public by our DG once we are through with the procedures.”

The chopper

Schweizer-300C, inducted into RWA in 2010, has about 450 flying hours and trains different kinds of pilots. An informed source from the HAL Helicopter Division told Deccan Herald: “The aircraft is a trusted one. It has been used extensively in other countries.

It is also used for patrol, apart from training pilots.” He said the RWA currently has 28 trained pilots with 10 of them, including Digvijay Singh, being civilians. The other 18, include people from the Army, the CRPF, BSF and other defence establishments.

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