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The Indian Air Farce – an update on the Mumbai Presidential helicopter near miss incident

On February 9th, there was a near miss incident at Mumbai airport which involved the President of India.

The Indian Air Force is at the receiving end of an article by 737 instructor pilot Captain A. Ranganathan, who complains that poor navigation, lack of communication with the control tower and non-conformation with procedures on the part of the navy pilots operating the helicopters, one of which had the the President of India on board, could have resulted in a major disaster in Mumbai.

What is utterly appalling is that the man who saved the situation, the air traffic controller, is the one facing the heat now, while both the pilots involved in the incident have got away scot-free.

The Air Chief Marshall of the Indian Air Force has gone on record to state that the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has to set his house in order. What has angered a lot of people in the civil aviation community is the fact that he said this in front of international media, maintained that his pilots were the best and made no mistakes, when the tape transcripts from the ATC clearly show the helicopter pilots in poor light.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether the DGCA has the political guts to counter the Air Chief Marshall. The facts show the Air Force had not used the helicopters that were designated for the flight. They did not follow procedures. They did not use the mandatory safety equipment like the Transponders and TCAS (if they were fitted with them). They did not comply with ATC instructions……..and they did this with the President of India on board!!!!!

Read the full article here.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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