Two pilots killed when Chhatisgarh State Helicopter crashed at Raipur Airport

Two pilots killed when Chhatisgarh State Helicopter crashed at Raipur Airport

Written By: / Friday, 13 May 2022 16:58

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, May 13:

Two pilots, who were on a flying practice, died when the Chhatisgarh Government’s training helicopter-Augusta Westland AW-109, crashed near the taxiway at Raipur’s Swami Vivekanand Airport on Thursday night. Chhatisgarh is a state in Central India.
The deceased were identified as Captain Gopal Krishna Panda and Captain AP Shrivastava. 
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel tweeted that both the pilots, Captain Panda and Captain Srivastava, have died in the accident. He expressed condolences to the bereaved families. “Just got sad news about the state helicopter crashing at the airport in Raipur. In this tragic accident, both our pilots Captain Panda and Captain Srivastava died. May God give strength to his family members and peace to the departed soul in this time of grief,” Baghel said.
The helicopter crashed at around 9.10 pm. It was on a routine training sortie. Initial indications suggest technical malfunction as the cause of the crash,” the Chhattisgarh government said in a statement. Captain Gopal Krishna Panda and Captain AP Shrivastava have unfortunately succumbed to injuries following the crash. A detailed technical investigation at the behest of DGCA and state government shall be undertaken to ascertain the exact cause,” the statement added. Chhatisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey also paid tributes to the pilots who died in the accident and expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
According to reports, the helicopter caught fire during landing. A loud bang was heard after the crash. A team of CISF and Fire Brigade reached the spot immediately and managed to rescue the trapped pilot and co-pilot inside. One pilot succumbed to injuries on the spot, while the second pilot was admitted to the nearby Ramakrishna Care Hospital, where the doctors pronounced him dead. There were no passengers on board.
The crew was undergoing night time flying proficiency checks. The chopper 
crashed before landing, apparently owing to some technical snag on the runway. All departures/arrivals flights were suspended at the airport soon after the accident.
The sources in the Airport Authority of India (AAI) maintained that neither the weather condition nor the night landing facility at the airport can be blamed for the mishap. The Director-General of Civil Aviation and the state government will probe into the incident, they added. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is expected to probe the accident. 
The AgustaWestland AW109 (originally the Agusta A109) is a lightweight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter built by the Italian manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A. It is the first all-Italian helicopter produced on a massive scale.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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