On April 19, a considerable air tragedy was fortuitously thwarted at ninety nautical miles, north hill, in the high seas of Mumbai. A chopper ferrying two senior ONGC officials, during its landing at an unmanned platform in the north hill of Bombay High, hit machinery on the ground and took an ugly spin.
The Bell 412 chopper, which also had two pilots on board, is from the fleet of a leading private helicopter operator that handles offshore operations for ONGC. “One Bell series chopper witnessed a very ugly situation in the north hill of Bombay High on Thursday 12.30 pm. The chopper with two ONGC officials on board was landing at an unmanned platform when the tail rotor hit machinery on the ground. After hitting the machinery, the rotor broke into pieces and the chopper witnessed an ugly spin before getting grounded,” said an aviation source at Bombay High.
“It was a close shave for the two pilots and both guests on board as the chopper grounded safely without any casualties. Luckily, no manpower was available on the ground or they too could have turned victims. The matter was later reported to the DGCA and a team arrived for inspection the same evening,” the source added.
A senior official with the logistics department of ONGC confirmed the incident but refused to comment officially. “Yes, something similar to this happened on Thursday. Both passengers on board were safe and the concerned aviation authorities were informed about the matter,” he said. However, general manager, logistics, ONGC, SD Mathur refused to comment on the matter. The deputy director general (DDG), DGCA, Mumbai region, too refrained from speaking on the issue. The grounded chopper was loaded on a ship for Mumbai and is expected to reach its base at Juhu aerodrome by Wednesday.
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