Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrived two hours late at a program in Satara as the Sikorsky helicopter, which was carrying him, developed a technical snag. After the problem was detected, the helicopter was grounded and another one was brought in from Pune.
The helicopter ferrying Fadnavis was supposed to take off from the Juhu aerodrome at 7.30 AM to reach Mahalaxmi racecourse, from where the Chief Minister would board, officials from the state aviation directorate stated. As per the plan, Fadnavis who was expected to attend the event in Satara by 10:30 AM. Unfortunately, Fadnavis reached the event around 12.30 PM
A report by Times of India quoted Fadnavis as saying, “I was supposed to reach here at around 10 AM but the helicopter for me that was to come from Pune reached late, so I was delayed.”
Notably, the event was organised to mark the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule, a social reformer born at Naigaon in Khandala taluka of Maharashtra.
This is not the first time that a chopper carrying Fadnavis had developed a glitch. Four such incidents in connection with Fadnavis and helicopters were reported since 2017. In the month of January 2018, a helicopter carrying Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari escaped a major accident, thanks to the pilot. Both Fadnavis and Gadkari were going in the chopper to attend an event at Mumbai’s Mira Road. The pilot noticed a wire hanging above the spot where the chopper was supposed to land. Immediately, the pilot took the plane up and landed at a nearby place.
In December 2017, a twin-engine helicopter ferrying Fadnavis to Aurangabad made a precautionary landing within seconds of take-off due to overload.