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Video shows private helicopter carrying pilgrims making dangerous landing at Kedarnath helipad, DGCA order probe

Screengrab from the video.

Aviation safety regulator DGCA has launched an inquiry into a dangerous landing by a private helicopter carrying Char Dham Yatra pilgrims to the helipad of the Kedarnath temple.

A video of the incident shows the pilot making an uncontrolled hard landing on May 31. Fortunately no passengers were injured in the incident, according to an ANI report.

“There has recently been a serious incident at Kedarnath Helipad wherein a helicopter executed an unstabilised approach in marginal weather, resulting in a very hard landing with consequent uncontrolled yaw,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

After the incident, the DGCA issued an operational advisory to all chopper operators plying on the Char Dham pilgrimage routes, for strict compliance to safety standards.

The DGCA said that the incident is investigated and "strict enforcement action shall be initiated against the operator & the operational personnel held responsible."

In its advisory, the DGCA has asked pilots to exercise caution with regard to tail winds during approaches at the four high-altitude shrines, especially at Kedarnath which faces a constraint of a one-way approach.

“Adequate precautions are to be taken and if the tail/cross wind component is beyond the permissible limits, the approach is to be abandoned and the  helicopter is to return to base. With an increase in ambient temperatures and humidity, the power available decreases and consequently the load carrying capability reduces. This fact is to be kept in mind and, if required, the load shall be recalculated and reduced,” the advisory read.

All helicopters flying to the Kedarnath valley have to maintain adequate spacing and operators are to ensure that pilots are qualified and current to undertake the operations, the aviation regulator said.

Operators shall ensure that pilots are well rested, and immediate corrective action is to be taken in case any signs of fatigue are detected in the operating crew, the advisory read.

“Cases of such incidents are indicators of impending accidents, and shall not be accepted by this office,” the advisory added.