The landing of the helicopter carrying Karnataka's former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa was aborted in the outskirts of Jewargi town in Kalaburagi district on Monday. After a hiatus, the chopper was safely landed at the same spot, but the initial video of landing attempt has gone viral with misleading claims.
The video of former Karnataka CM's chopper attempting a landing has gone viral on social media and in WhatsApp groups with claims that the pilot couldn't land the chopper due to a technical snag. Some claims were also made about the pilot's inability to land due to the dust and waste around.
As per some WhatsApp messages, the chopper couldn't make a safe landing in the Kalburgi district helipad, which was a temporary one constructed for the sole purpose of facilitating movement of leaders and officials. The pilot's capabilities were reportedly brought into question, and the message even suggested that there was a risk of uncontrolled hard landing, so the pilot took off again.
Some news outlets even claimed that the plastic sheets flying around the landing site scared the pilot. There is no shortage of random theories, but the netizens had a field day reacting to the viral video.
International Business Times reviewed the viral footage and discussed what could have actually happed with an experienced pilot. As per the aviator, neither the pilot nor the chopper were at fault. In fact, the video was clear proof that the district administration hadn't prepared the helipad for landing.
Speaking to IBTimes, the expert said that the district administration is supposed to prepare the helipad and FOD checks before arrival of a chopper, which is always scheduled and done as per itinerary. In fact, pilots periodically confirm the protocols prior to launch.
IBTimes tried reaching DC Gulbarga for a statement on the issue, but he hasn't answered calls or responded to our message as of this writing. This article will be duly updated.
As for the rules of using helicopter services in India, anyone can do so with prior intimation.
The district administration should have watered the pad and cleared out any garbage to prevent a dust bowl, which prevents landing of a chopper. The pilot was in the right to go around and land once the waste and plastic sheets were cleaned. The dereliction of duty by local authorities has been taken seriously, and the matter is being probed.
Hence, it is clear that there was no technical snag with the chopper carrying BS Yediyurappa, which resulted in a landing issue.