Ranchi: It was the wisdom of Captain B K Singh, piloting the helicopter which had to crash land after it developed a technical snag, that saved the lives of Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, his wife Meera and three others travelling with them.
The helicopter toppled to its side after crash landing at the Ranchi airport, leaving the Chief Minister with multiple injuries. Also on the chopper were co-pilot Commander Kaushik, Munda's wife, his security officer Manoj Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Barkuwar Gagrai.
The chopper crash landed at 12.25 pm at Ranchi airport. It had taken off at 11.45 am from Ranchi but could not land at Kuchai in Saraikela Kharsawa district and turned back.
"The wisdom of the pilot helped in landing of the chopper. When we reached Kuchai, the pilot informed us that there was a landing problem. The chopper returned to Ranchi... It hovered in the air and crash landed," Gagrai told reporters.
According to police sources, it landed on the ground from a height of about 10 to 55 feet.
Informed sources added that the pilot traced the snag and contacted the Ranchi ATC. At Ranchi airport, the emergency landing effort failed four times.
He hovered in the air for a while to exhaust the fuel before crash landing. This prevented a fire from breaking out.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an enquiry.
The Aryanan Aviation chopper Augusta 009 was said to be 20 years old.