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Double-engine copters safer: Borbora

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 5 � Though double engine helicopters are definitely safer than the single engine ones, several other factors including altitude, cost factor etc will have to be taken into consideration while taking a decision on which of the coppers is to be used for specific purposes, said Air Marshal (Retd) PK Borbora, who recently retired as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

After two crashes of single engine helicopters within a span of 15 days in Arunachal Pradesh, it is alleged that single engine choppers are not suitable for terrains like that of Arunachal Pradesh and there is also demand for banning single engine choppers. The Government of Assam, on its part, also decided not to charter single engine choppers in future.

When asked to comment on the safety features of single engine choppers, Air Marshal Borbora admitted that double engine choppers are definitely considered safer than the single engine ones. But one cannot totally avoid using single engine choppers depending on the situation.

Air Marshal Borbora said that the Air Force and the Army have been using single engine choppers for years without much problem. He pointed out that the single engine choppers are generally lighter and can land in much less space. He said that the forces have been using single engine choppers to travel to high altitude areas like Siachen, which is more than 18,000 feet higher than the sea level.

The double engine choppers also have some drawbacks though these are considered safer. Air Marshal Borbora pointed out that the cost of operating double engine choppers is much higher than the cost involved in flying single engine ones. The double engine choppers are heavier and those require larger space to land, that is why the Air Force and Army normally operates single engine choppers in high altitude.

Air Marshal Borbora also pointed out that any machine can go wrong at any point of time and it would not be correct to say that single engine choppers are not safe. Even the space shuttle, which is considered to be built with the most modern technology available crashed, he added.

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Double-engine copters safer: Borbora

GUWAHATI, May 5 � Though double engine helicopters are definitely safer than the single engine ones, several other factors including altitude, cost factor etc will have to be taken into consideration while taking a decision on which of the coppers is to be used for specific purposes, said Air Marshal (Retd) PK Borbora, who recently retired as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

After two crashes of single engine helicopters within a span of 15 days in Arunachal Pradesh, it is alleged that single engine choppers are not suitable for terrains like that of Arunachal Pradesh and there is also demand for banning single engine choppers. The Government of Assam, on its part, also decided not to charter single engine choppers in future.

When asked to comment on the safety features of single engine choppers, Air Marshal Borbora admitted that double engine choppers are definitely considered safer than the single engine ones. But one cannot totally avoid using single engine choppers depending on the situation.

Air Marshal Borbora said that the Air Force and the Army have been using single engine choppers for years without much problem. He pointed out that the single engine choppers are generally lighter and can land in much less space. He said that the forces have been using single engine choppers to travel to high altitude areas like Siachen, which is more than 18,000 feet higher than the sea level.

The double engine choppers also have some drawbacks though these are considered safer. Air Marshal Borbora pointed out that the cost of operating double engine choppers is much higher than the cost involved in flying single engine ones. The double engine choppers are heavier and those require larger space to land, that is why the Air Force and Army normally operates single engine choppers in high altitude.

Air Marshal Borbora also pointed out that any machine can go wrong at any point of time and it would not be correct to say that single engine choppers are not safe. Even the space shuttle, which is considered to be built with the most modern technology available crashed, he added.