BANGALORE: Two hours after a Schweizer 300C trainer (VT-HAV) helicopter took to the skies on a training sortie from its base, the Rotary Wing Academy (RWA) , it crash-landed on the terrace of an apartment in G M Palya here on Thursday.
According to HAL, the two-seater helicopter, piloted by Air Commodore (Retd) ROJ Assey and Capt Digvijay Singh, took off at 2.30 pm and at a spot 3-3.5 km from the base, the crew crash-landed it on the terrace of Maithri Opulence apartments at about 4.45 to 5.15 pm. Coincidentally, instructor, Air Cmdr Assey, was the same pilot who was involved in RWA’s Chetak helicopter crash in 2010.
Though HAL officials refrained from speaking to the media, T G Krishna Bhatta, DCP (East) said the pilots had landed the chopper safely without loss to life or property. “According to them (HAL), the pilots landed the helicopter safely, but it tipped over to its left side when one of the rotors hit the hollow air vent of the building,” he said.
The building was cordoned off as firemen and HAL officials were called in to assess the damage and take precautions. Bhatta also said that the fuel tank was full but the battery connections were removed to prevent sparks and subsequent damage. When queried about the next step in the removal of the helicopter from its current location, he said, “HAL has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and they will dismantle the chopper by Friday morning,” he said.