DGCA begins probe of a helicopter bouncing and turning 270 degrees while landing at Kedarnath

A helicopter of Thumby Aviation on May 31 bounced and turned by 270 degrees while landing at Kedarnath helipad, following which aviation regulator DGCA asked the chopper pilots to exercise caution whenever there are tailwinds when they are heading for landing, officials said on Monday, June 6.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started an investigation into this incident, its officials said. On May 31, at approximately 1:30 PM, a Bell 407 helicopter belonging to Thumby Aviation Pvt Ltd, while landing at Kedarnath helipad had an uncontrolled, very hard landing, they noted.

The helicopter had made an unstabilized approach to the helipad, and during the touchdown, the helicopter struck the helipad surface hard, bounced and after having lost direction by about 270 degrees, again settled down hard on the ground, they said.

The regulator issued an advisory after the incident in which it said “pilots are to exercise caution for the presence of any tailwinds during approaches, especially at Shri Kedarnath helipad”.

Pilots must take adequate precautions and if the tailwinds or crosswinds are beyond the permissible limits, the approach must be abandoned and the chopper must return to the base, the advisory mentioned.

The DGCA is investigating the incident and it is planning to conduct a spot check for ensuring safety oversight of these helicopter operations, the officials noted.