In a miraculous manoeuvre executed on Thursday evening, a helicopter of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), on a training sortie, made an emergency landing on the terrace of an apartment complex in G.M. Palya near Byappanahalli here on Thursday.

Both the initially aghast residents as well as the police praised the skilful landing which cause no injuries or damage to property.

The two-seater Schweizer-300C chopper, belonging to HAL's Rotary Wing Academy, developed a technical snag in the air and force-landed on the roof of the five-storey apartment complex, Maithri Opulence around 4.40 p.m.

The pilot Air Commodore (Retd) Roj Assey, with trainee Captain Digvijay Singh by his side, suffered no injuries though the chopper was damaged during the emergency landing.

Building safe

The helicopter had taken off at 2.30 p.m. and flew for two hours and 10 minutes before it developed trouble, an HAL press note said. It added that the imported chopper suffered some damage though there was no damage to the building.

Immediately on landing, officials and technicians from HAL rushed to the spot and removed the battery and other parts from the chopper. Sources said it had around 20 litres of fuel.

Officials of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) from Hyderabad will inspect the helicopter and later conduct an investigation, Krishna Bhat, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Division), told The Hindu.

Presence of mind

He praised the presence of the mind of the pilots who, in a last-minute manoeuvre, brought the chopper to safety. “They successfully landed just a few metres away from the parapet wall of the building. [Crucially] they avoided the high-tension electric wires in front of the apartment complex,” he said.

Later, more than a thousand curious onlookers positioned themselves on the terraces of the neighbouring buildings. “We heard a big sound and rushed to the terrace to see what had happened. I was shocked to see the helicopter,” said a homemaker. Yoganarasimha, a retired doctor, who stays in a neighbouring apartment, said: “Thankfully, none of the residents were injured.”

Power supply was cut off in the area for a while as a precautionary measure.

Dismantling on Friday

Sources in HAL said engineers from the rotor division would survey the building and the helicopter on Friday to decide on the best approach to extricate it from the roof.