Thursday, 3 September 2009

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy's helicopter crash lands, copter traced, bodies found

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 2: The helicopter carrying Chief Minister YS
Rajasekhar Reddy may have "spot landed" deep in the thick forests of
Nallamalla, with heavy rains and slushy ground making it impossible
for the VVIP and his team from leaving the chopper.

The heavy downpour has stirred up seasonal streams and the terrain is
covered under several inches of water. The steep hills and deep valleys
make the terrain even more hostile.

State government officials have conjured up three possibilities
including the "spot landing" of the helicopter. Helicopter pilots are
specially trained for spot landing in case of emergency. When an
helicopter spot lands, there may be some damage to the copper, making
it impossible for takeoff, pending repairs.

The chief minister and others with him may not have ventured out in
view of heavy rains. They may be confined to the chopper.

The other possibilities may be a hit with one of the highrise hills or
with a cloud. Hills in the Nallamala forest rise to a height of 3100 ft.
They are covered with thick vegetation and poor visibility might have
led the pilot to err, hitting one of them.

The helicopter was said to be flying at a height of 5500 ft and there
may be a possibility of the pilot miscalculating the height and going
amidst the clouds. There's no possibility of any technical snag as the
chopper is equipped with two engines.

According to sources, thick dark clouds and heavy rains forced the two
aircraft of National Remote Sensing Centre to suspend the remote-
sensing and thermal imaging operations till Thursday morning.

The two NRSC aircraft, equipped with rescue and search systems, took
off at 5.15 pm and had to call off the operations by 6.40 pm. The
operations will begin at 7.30 am on Thursday if the weather conditions

The aircraft using infrared photography and thermal imaging took 41
photographs, each covering an area of eight square km. They took to
two different flight paths so as to cover a large area.

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