Pawan Hans commercial helicopter services suspended in NE

Last Updated: Friday, May 6, 2011 - 18:22

Guwahati: Pawan Hans commercial helicopter
services in the northeast have been suspended following the
death of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu
along with four others in a chopper crash on Saturday.

The flights of Asia`s largest helicopter company were not
operating since Sunday as the Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) was undertaking checks and reviewing its
choppers operating in the region, sources in the Pawan Hans
Helicopters Ltd (PHHL) said on Friday.

The DGCA would also examine why the advanced emergency
locator transmitter (ELT) fitted into Khandu`s helicopter did
not transmit signals on heavy impact during the crash, they

The signals of the ELT, fitted for locating a chopper in
case of a mishap, can be picked by ISRO satellites or any
other aircraft flying over the crash site as the equipment is
activated automatically on heavy impact, they said.

But as no signal was picked up by the satellites or the
search operation aircraft, the sources said, the DGCA would
also look into why the ELT did not get activated.

The Dauphin, Bell 206 L4, Bell 407 and MI-172 helicopters
in service in the northeast by the PHHL were maintained as per
the stipulated guidelines of the manufacturers and approved by
the DGCA, they said.

Unable to state from when the services would resume in
the area, the sources said they were confident of restarting
the chopper operations after the company`s entire fleet was
carefully examined and declared airworthy.

DGCA sources in Guwahati confirmed that the Pawan Hans
helicopter services were not operating in the northeast since
Khandu`s crash.

They, however, could not confirm if the suspension was
following an order from the DGCA or the Civil Aviation

Meghalaya and Sikkim had suspended Pawan Hans flights
after Khandu`s chopper had gone missing on April 30.

PHHL has been operating since 1989 in the seven
northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya,
Tripura, Nagaland and Manipur, besides Sikkim to connect to
inaccessible areas.


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First Published: Friday, May 6, 2011 - 18:22

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