DGCA discusses safety issues with Pawan Hans

Last Updated: Monday, May 2, 2011 - 21:05

New Delhi: With the helicopter carrying
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu still missing,
aviation regulator DGCA on Monday held a meeting with officials of
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited to review safety issues,
especially in the northeast.

"We held a meeting today with the Pawan Hans officials
and discussed safety issues, especially in the northeast,"
DGCA chief E K Bharat Bhushan said here.

He did not elaborate while replying to a question
whether there was any violation of Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) by the state-run helicopter firm in its
operations in the northeastern states.

Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said a "vigorous
search" was being carried out in the area but there was no
information so far on the whereabouts of the missing Pawan
Hans chopper.

He said the DGCA has decided to carry out inspection
of about 15 helipads in the northeast.

Pawan Hans had yesterday announced suspension of its
commercial operations in the region, saying all its
helicopters and resources based there were being deployed for
search and rescue operations.

The four-seater single-engine Pawan Hans helicopter
AS-B350-B-3 chopper, with five persons including the chief
minister on board, went missing on Saturday, 20 minutes after
taking off from Tawang at 9.56 AM.

Meanwhile, the search operations to locate the missing
chopper is now being confined to a 66-sq km area in West
Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh where satellite images
have shown metallic objects. The area is heavily forested and
high altitude.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 2, 2011 - 21:05

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