BANGALORE: Chaos ruled roost at GM Palya near Bypannahalli, on the outskirts of the city, on Thursday evening as the Schweizer 300C trainer (V T-HAV) helicopter which took to the skies on a training sortie from the Rotary Wing Academy (RWA), dramatically landed on the terrace of Maithri Opulence, a four-storey residential apartment building, due to a technical snag.
The area has many residential apartment complexes. Thousands of curious onlookers gathered on the terrace of their respective buildings and flooded all the top floors to watch the rare sight as the chopper remained tilted.
The residents, especially those at home at the time of the incident at Maithri Opulence, had a rude awakening, as the chopper landed with a loud thud on the roof.
“We were at home and heard a loud sound on the roof,” said Rathna Chakraborthy, a resident on the fourth floor of Maithri Opulence. “I was not sure what happened, but when I saw people perched on the terraces of nearby buildings, I went to the terrace to see what happened,” she added.
Anapurna Saha, another resident, said that she too went to the terrace following the loud noise. “The pilots were there and they told us that it was not safe to go near the helicopter but said that there was no danger to any of the residents or the building.” Hundreds of onlookers poured in from nearby areas as the news of the rare incident spread.
“I was playing cricket with my friends near the apartment when we suddenly saw a huge helicopter approaching the building. We ran up to the terrace of a nearby building and saw the helicopter crash land in a tilted manner. Two operators managed to exit the helicopter and started looking around frantically. Then we saw some fire tenders and HAL officials reaching the spot,” said M Prabhu, a student living in the area.
Another resident of the building, Sumitha Logo said, “I live on the third floor of this building and we noticed a lot of smoke coming towards our window. We ran out of the building to see what had happened. After all commercial operations had been shifted to the BIA, the HAL had been using this area for training purposes. Nearly 45 to 50 helicopters fly in this area everyday and we are all scared about it.”
Meanwhile, the officials who had gathered praised the presence of mind of the pilots who managed to crash land in the last minute, before any damage or death could be caused. The chopper landed barely 10 metres away from the parapet wall of the building, officials exclaimed, saying if the operations did not manage this, the chopper would have fallen off the building.