- A helicopter underwent an uncontrolled landing at Kedarnath helipad
- The chopper was carrying Char Dham pilgrims
- During landing, chopper went into moments of panic as it touched the ground, bounced and swirled
In what could be termed as moments of panic, a helicopter belonging to a private aviation company underwent a hard and uncontrolled landing at the Kedarnath helipad on May 31.
According to reports, no passengers were injured in the incident. The entire incident was caught on camera.
Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, "Incident being probed, an operational advisory has been issued to all operators for strict compliance to safety standards as per joint SOP issued for these operations. A spot check is also planned for ensuring safety oversight on these operations."
A strict enforcement action shall be initiated against the operator & the operational personnel be held responsible, DGCA further said.
It could not be immediately ascertained how many passengers were present in the chopper at the time of the incident. However, the officials said none of the passengers were injured.
On May 31, at approximately 1.30 pm, a Bell 407 helicopter belonging to Thumby Aviation Pvt Ltd, while landing at Kedarnath helipad had an uncontrolled, very hard landing, they noted.
The helicopter had made an unstabilised approach to the helipad, and during the touchdown, it struck the helipad surface hard, bounced and after having lost direction by about 270 degrees, again settled down hard on the ground, they said.
The regulator issued an advisory after the incident in which it said "pilots are to exercise caution for presence of any tailwinds during approaches, especially at Shri Kedarnath helipad".
Pilots must take adequate precautions and if the tailwinds or crosswinds are beyond the permissible limits, the approach must be abandoned and the chopper must return to the base, the advisory mentioned.
Adequate spacing must be maintained between the helicopters that are flying into the valley towards the Kedarnath helipad, it noted.
Operators must ensure that helicopter pilots are qualified and well-rested to undertake flight operations, the advisory said.
"Cases of such incidents are indicators of impending accidents, and shall not be accepted by this office. Strict enforcement action shall be initiated against the operator and the operational personnel held responsible," it read.
The DGCA is investigating the incident and it is planning to conduct a spot check for ensuring safety oversight of these helicopter operations, the officials noted.
(With inputs from PTI)