'Ghatkopar crash aircraft was on illegal test flight'

Last Updated 30 December 2018, 13:41 IST

The aircraft involved in the Ghatkopar crash that killed five people earlier this year was on an "illegal test flight" and the plane itself was once brought to Mumbai in pieces in trucks, according to a report.

Besides, the aircraft was insured for Rs 7 crore in January last year in an illegal and non-transparent manner, a Parliamentary panel has said.

On June 28, a King Air C-90 charter aircraft crashed during a test flight in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. Four people onboard -- two pilots and two aircraft maintenance engineers, as well as a bystander, were killed in the incident.

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is already probing the incident and its report is expected early next year.

Describing the facts that have come out regarding the incident as "shocking", the panel chaired by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said the test flight was illegal and done during bad weather.

The plane belonged to U Y Aviation Pvt Ltd and the latter had a pact with Indamar Aviation Pvt Ltd for carrying out repairs and making the aircraft serviceable.

The particular aircraft was bought from Silver Jubilee Traveler Pvt Ltd, which had purchased the same from the Uttar Pradesh government in early 2014 as a "scrap".

In its report, the panel said the plane in question had belly landed in Uttar Pradesh in 2008.

"It was kept in abeyance for five years. In early 2014, it was purchased by Silver Jubilee Traveler Pvt Ltd as scrap". It was brought to Mumbai in pieces in trucks, the report said.

The committee has also flagged serious concerns, including that operating a test flight without the approval of aviation regulator DGCA is criminal negligence.

"The shocking information that came before the committee is that the aircraft was insured for Rs 7 crore in January 2017 in an illegal and non-transparent manner by a PSU insurance company.

"It seems that the deceased employees will not get any insurance due to non-transparent and illegal insurance policy," the report tabled in Parliament Friday said.

The Standing Committee on Labour has also called for a foolproof mechanism for the aviation industry to not only stop recurrence of Ghatkopar like air crash incidents but also for the safety and security of manpower engaged in the industry.

(Published 30 December 2018, 13:11 IST)

Follow us on