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State�s �no� to single-engine choppers

By Sanjoy ray

GUWAHATI, May 1 � A day after a Pawan Hans chopper with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on board went missing, Assam Government has expressed its reservations on availing services of single-engine choppers for any of its future trips.

Assam Government spokesperson Rockybul Hussain told The Assam Tribune that the State Government would now be 'very cautious' and selective in chartering aircraft and only services of snag-free double-engine choppers would be availed.

�The aircraft, I am told was a single-engine aircraft, which are susceptible to changing weather condition. Until and unless the machine's snag-free condition is ensured by experts, we would refrain from chartering them,� said Hussain, who has left for Itanagar to assess the situation on behalf of the State.

�We avail the services of aircraft from various agencies including Pawan Hans and the Indian Air Force from time to time but from now onwards, approval from the technical team would be a must before taking to any trip by air,� Hussain said.

Hussain further said that as the State, unlike Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, does not have any such agreement with Pawan Hans Limited, the question of officialy suspending its operations in the State does not arise.

However, he conceded that the frequency of such incidents is a matter of concern and the authorities should be held responsible, if a low-quality aircraft has been let out.

The missing helicopter was a single-engine chopper and a section of experts believe that in case of an engine failure, there are bleak chances of it making a safe landing.

Saturday�s incident was not the first of its kind involving Pawan Hans chopper. On April 19, seventeen persons were killed when a Pawan Hans helicopter caught fire and crashed while landing in Tawang town in Arunachal Pradesh.

It needs mention here that politicians during the recently held two-phase election in the State had extensively used the services of single-engine chopper for their campaign.

Meanwhile, an official press release has appealed to the people living on the Assam-Bhutan border to inform the local police or the local authorities if they get any clue about the whereabouts of Arunachal Pradesh CM.

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State�s �no� to single-engine choppers

GUWAHATI, May 1 � A day after a Pawan Hans chopper with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on board went missing, Assam Government has expressed its reservations on availing services of single-engine choppers for any of its future trips.

Assam Government spokesperson Rockybul Hussain told The Assam Tribune that the State Government would now be 'very cautious' and selective in chartering aircraft and only services of snag-free double-engine choppers would be availed.

�The aircraft, I am told was a single-engine aircraft, which are susceptible to changing weather condition. Until and unless the machine's snag-free condition is ensured by experts, we would refrain from chartering them,� said Hussain, who has left for Itanagar to assess the situation on behalf of the State.

�We avail the services of aircraft from various agencies including Pawan Hans and the Indian Air Force from time to time but from now onwards, approval from the technical team would be a must before taking to any trip by air,� Hussain said.

Hussain further said that as the State, unlike Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, does not have any such agreement with Pawan Hans Limited, the question of officialy suspending its operations in the State does not arise.

However, he conceded that the frequency of such incidents is a matter of concern and the authorities should be held responsible, if a low-quality aircraft has been let out.

The missing helicopter was a single-engine chopper and a section of experts believe that in case of an engine failure, there are bleak chances of it making a safe landing.

Saturday�s incident was not the first of its kind involving Pawan Hans chopper. On April 19, seventeen persons were killed when a Pawan Hans helicopter caught fire and crashed while landing in Tawang town in Arunachal Pradesh.

It needs mention here that politicians during the recently held two-phase election in the State had extensively used the services of single-engine chopper for their campaign.

Meanwhile, an official press release has appealed to the people living on the Assam-Bhutan border to inform the local police or the local authorities if they get any clue about the whereabouts of Arunachal Pradesh CM.