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Chhattisgarh CM used choppers hired for anti-naxal operations, two pilots suspended

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has suspended two pilots of a private firm for allegedly flying Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in a chopper supposed to be used only for anti-naxal operations and also flouting
PTI October 15, 2015 19:47 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has suspended two pilots of a private firm for allegedly flying Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in a chopper supposed to be used only for anti-naxal operations and also flouting other flight safety norms, sources said.

The regulator has initiated a probe into the alleged violations of various DGCA norms and the MHA guidelines for VVIP flights, highly-placed DGCA sources said today.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also summoned senior officials of the private chopper operator -- King Rotors & Air Charters -- and may call Chhattisgarh civil aviation authorities as well during the probe, they said.

According to sources, the alleged violation surfaced during the inspection of documents pertaining to the firm's operations conducted recently by DGCA authorities.

"It was found that the Chief Minister was flown in the Bell 407 chopper, belonging to King Rotors and under contract with the Chhattisgarh government, from Nagpur to Aurangabad and from there to Juhu airport in Mumbai on February 17 and 18 this year," sources said.

The single-engine six-seater chopper was, however, taken on contract by the state government only for use in anti-naxal operations, sources said.

Also, as per MHA guidelines, VVIP flights are to be operated only in a twin-engine chopper with two pilots on board, sources said.

Sources also alleged forging of signatures by the pilots on pre-flight medical documents.

"While on three such documents, the signatures were forged, on one, there were no signatures at all," sources claimed.

When contacted the Chhattisgarh chief minister's office (CMO) said that it was not aware of the matter.