BANGALORE: Air Commodore (Retd) ROJ Assey, who made a crash landing on the terrace of an apartment at G M Palya, on the outskirts of the city on Thursday, makes it his second crash in two years.
Assey was also involved in the last crash of HAL’s Rotary Wing Academy (RWA)-owned aircraft in August 2010 when he was flying with Capt Virendra Singh of the Indian Army in a Chetak helicopter. Both had escaped miraculously then.
Though the actual cause of the Thursday’s crash is yet to be ascertained, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in their probe report released in 2011 about the 2010 Chetak crash, came down heavily on the role of the instructor.
The DGCA had said that the instructor’s hover height and improper handling were two main reasons for the crash. “The RWA doesn’t have an approved training and procedures’ manual which define the hover height during training flights for trainee pilots in order to provide an element of safety,” the DGCA had observed.
In January 2007, a Schweizer helicopter, owned by RWA, had crashed causing substantial damage to the chopper. Uncontrollable movement during hover exercise and delayed corrective measures by the instructor were the prime reasons behind the crash then. There were no fatalities during the crash. Sources said that a RWA chopper had crashed prior to 2007, but could not confirm the type of platform.
The RWA is the only Academy in the country training pilots on helicopters in civil flying. It was established in 2000, as helicopter training outside military was non-existent. The RWA has trained a total of about 110 pilots on helicopters from civil, Border Security Force, Nepal Army, Coast Guard, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Indian Army. It owns two piston engine Schwiezer 300 choppers, one turbine engine Schwiezer 330 chopper, and had two Chetaks - of which one was lost in the 2010 crash.