Mumbai: After surviving two helicopter accidents, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis survived yet another copter mishap at Alibaug on Friday.
This is the same VT-UPB numbered Bel 230 copter, which had developed a technical snag in Gadchiroli in May. It was manufactured in 1995. “While returning from Alibaug, the copter suddenly started moving forward due to strong winds and the funnel effect, forcing the pilot to apply the brakes but he could not control the speed. There were too many people around so the pilot had no other option but to take off. He immediately landed again. The CM was standing on the left hand side of the craft, when it started moving. He immediately moved away to a safe distance. So there was no close shave, as it seems to appear in the visuals which were taken from one side,” an official told.
Confirming that it was the same copter, which developed a technical snag in Gadchiroli, the official said the government would have to take a call on flying helicopters along the western coast during the monsoons when the winds are not favourable. Aviation experts too are questioning the rationale of travelling by helicopter during the monsoons.
The Alibaug collector, Mr P.D. Malikner too denied that any accident took place. “The helicopter suddenly started, but the CM was away from the rotating blades. It was re-tested and the CM returned on it,” he said. However, the CMO has denied the accident in an official release and said the reports were just rumours.
In May, in Gadchiroli, the Bel 230 private helicopter that was ferrying Fadnavis, encountered a technical snag. One of its engines failed to start....