Odisha News Insight

Helicopter Row: DGCA gives clean chit to Baijayant Panda

ONI Bureau: In a big jolt to Odisha Government, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given clean chit to former BJD MP Baijayant Panda in helicopter flying row. The report also confirmed that Jay Panda did not fly the chopper over the Chilika Lake as alleged by Govt, Cops and BJD.

The DGCA in its letter to Airport Director at Bhubaneswar Airport confirmed that as per the investigation, there was no violation observed of DGCA rules and regulation in connection the complaint that a helicopter/aircraft has flown dangerously over Chilika Lake on 15/09/2018.

“The DGCA, India investigated the complaint of dangerous flying by helicopter/aircraft on 15/09/2018 over Chilka Lake, Bhubaneswar. On investigation, it was revealed that one helicopter belonging to M/s Indian Metal & Ferro Alloys Ltd. Robinson R44 Helicopter registration, VT-BDP has flown non-stop cross country from Bhubaneswar Airport overflying Rajhans, Puri, Konark & finally landed at Garadpur. No other helicopter has flown over Rajhans on 15/09/2018,” it said.

Further findings of aforesaid investigation are as follows:

1. Helicopter was airworthy and flight crew licenses were current and have a reasonable experience on the type.
2. No significant deviation in the filed flight plan timing and actual timing observed.
3. Based on fact and evidences, it could not be established that helicopter has flown dangerously below the assigned altitude or have landed at Chilika Lake.
4. There was no violation observed of DGCA rule and regulations.

Meanwhile, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi has confirmed the receipt of DGCA report and said they are reviewing it. The state government, which has launched a massive campaign against Jay Panda over this issue and seized the IMFA Hangar at the Bhubaneswar Airport that has 3 helicopters, will face tough questions now.

Some Responses to DGCA Report:

Senior Journalist Ashok Pradhan tweets,

“DGCA says @PandaJay did not violate any rule during his chopper ride over Chilika last month which had sparked furore in Odisha assembly and had invited Baijayant a police case. DGCA questions state government decision to seal Jay’s copter. Govt move Interesting!”

Office of Baijayant Panda tweets,

“The victory of truth, @PandaJay has been given a clean chit by DGCA. We are thankful to all our supporters for their constant support and to Lord Jagannath for the blessings”.

Former BJD MP Baijayant Panda tweets,

“Satyameva Jayate. Total clean chit by DGCA on Odisha Govt’s cooked up case against me & my helicopter flying, & sealing a hangar at Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar for the past 1.5 months, immobilising 3 choppers (incl 2 against which thr were no allegations whatsoever)!

OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik says,

“With DGCA giving clean chit to Jay Panda, it has become clear that he was being dragged into a controversy out of political vendetta; this should not be the approach of a govt or any political enemy”.

BJP Leader Prithviraj Harichandan says,

Revengeful #Odisha govt resorted to means never seen in the political history of the State in last 50 years; it is evident that State govt had no information on flight movement & resorted to such tactics only to harass.

Brand Analyst Sudhir Mishra says,

“Ha ha ha.. DGCA played like la Dhoni.. Perfect Helicopter Shot in favour of Jay Panda.”

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