The 8-seater multi-engine Bell-made helicopter of the state government of Andhra Pradesh was not cleared by India’s aviation regulator to take to the skies. In other words it was not airworthy.
Click here to see the chopper’s record on the DGCA website
“The aircraft has not got its C of A renewed during the last two years,” regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation notes in its remarks for the aircraft that flew the chief minsiter YSR Reddy today morning and went missing later on.
The chopper was manufactured in 1998 or about 10 years back. Every aircraft has to go through a Certificate of Airworthiness (Cof A) check every year -mandatorily by DGCA officers . In this case it has not been approved for two years, the regulator says.
“Certificate of Airworthiness means that the aircraft complies with all the safety requirements and it is airworthy. Without this the aircraft is not permitted to fly. This a very serious violation and some heads should roll,” says Mohan Ranganathan, an air safety consultant and a former pilot. “ The airworthiness department in DGCA should have known this as well as the safety department. They have used this and this is a very serious offence.”