Aarey Colony chopper crash aftermath: No more joyrides, decides IRCTC

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 11:44 IST | Shashank Rao

The after-effects of Sunday's chopper crash in Aarey colony have started trickling in. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has suspended the helicopter joyride services in Mumbai temporarily

The spot in Aarey Colony where the helicopter crashed on Sunday
The spot in Aarey Colony where the helicopter crashed on Sunday

The after-effects of Sunday's chopper crash in Aarey colony have started trickling in. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has suspended the helicopter joyride services in Mumbai temporarily.

Railway sources said they have already intimated Aman Aviation, which was arranging these rides for IRCTC customers.

Also Read: Aarey chopper crash: Model notorious for faulty rotors, prone to post-crash fires

“We have temporarily suspended the helicopter joyrides within Mumbai. We have not decided until what period these shall remain shut,” said Arvind Malkhade, group general manager, IRCTC.

Crash and burn
The Robinson R-44 crashed in the Filter Pada area on Sunday, killing the pilot Capt. Praful Mishra and injuring the other three on board — passenger Ritesh Modi, who is in a coma, his wife Brinda, who has suffered 50 per cent burns, and technician Sanjay Shankar, who has suffered minor injuries and is recuperating at SevenHills Hospital.

Read Story: Aarey chopper crash: From joyride to tragedy in 5 minutes

The bubble-shaped glass cockpit has three window seats and is considered to be the world's best helicopter for aerial viewing.

IRCTC officials said that in late 2015 they had started trials by operating these helicopters for six months. And from February 2016, they had roped in Aman Aviation and begun full-fledged operations. “Our role was restricted to facilitating the booking of tickets for those interested in going for these joyrides,” said Malkhade.

The joyrides are run on two routes — Juhu to Gorai, the one the ill-fated chopper followed, and Juhu to Haji Ali. The helicopters start from Pawan Hans and return to the same airfield.

Rs 4,250
Cost per person for a 15-minute ride

Purpose of joyrides

> Flower and leaflet dropping
> Corporate promotions
> Mid-air ring ceremony
> Product launch
> Birthday celebration
> Election campaigning

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