Rahul's copter pilots get DGCA clean chit

The pilots of the state-run Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited, who appeared before the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s Air Safety Wing here, were cleared on Wednesday after the probe panel found that the helicopter had landed at 1725 hours “when visibility was two kilometres and light conditions satisfactory on Monday, official sources said.
The sources also maintained that the two pilots had “no discussion” with any passenger (including Gandhi) on board or anyone on the ground while landing at Sitapur.

They said a final verdict on the matter would come only at the conclusion of the enquiry and claimed that the pilots have not been de-rostered.

Earlier, reports had said the two pilots had been taken off duty to enable them to appear before the DGCA.

Gandhi had on Tuesday sought to stave off a controversy that he had forced the pilots to land the helicopter in poor visibility conditions.

“I am a pilot and I am absolutely aware of the dangers of flying in low visibility conditions. I will be the last person to do it,” the Congress leader had said in Lucknow.

However, Sitapur District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar had claimed that the chopper had landed after sunset in poor visibility even as the Uttar Pradesh  Government shot off a letter to the Centre over alleged violation of security norms during Gandhi’s visit to the state.

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