MYSURU: After the helicopter malfunction at the HAL airport in Bengaluru two weeks ago, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has a new security protocol in place.
On Thursday, the chopper assigned to fly the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues first had a dry run to Suttur near Mysuru.
The Pawan Hans helicopter that was hired to fly Siddaramaiah and his team started from Bengaluru at 7 am, flew up to Suttur and returned to the city. There were four passengers and two pilots.
Later, Siddaramaiah, Ministers V Srinivasa Prasad, H C Mahadevappa and H S Mahadeva Prasad and CM’s joint secretary M Ramaiah reached Suttur at 10.30 am.
After participating in the Suttur jatra, they left for Bengaluru to participate in a function at Doddballapur.
Such trial flights are undertaken only during VIP visits, a source said.
Confirming the dry run, a top police officer who did not want to be named told Express that a Pawan Hans aircraft was flying after a long time in Karnataka, particularly in the Mysuru region. He said the dry run was held only to familiarise the crew with the location of the Suttur village and it was not undertaken at the CM’s insistence or to check for technical snags.
A day after the helicopter smoke scare on January 10, a shaken Siddaramaiah and his family had offered special puja to the presiding deity at Siddarameshwara temple in his native village Siddaramanahundi. After that incident, there was a lot of pressure on the chief minister from his Cabinet colleagues and well-wishers to enter into an agreement with a reputed aviation company that would provide safe helicopters.