It was last used by Kiran Kumar Reddy for his Indiramma Baata programme in Ranga Reddy district

The Andhra Pradesh Government-owned helicopter, meant for use by the Chief Minister, was completely gutted in the massive fire that broke out on Monday night in Hangar No 3 of Begumpet airport here where it was parked.

It was last used by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for his Indiramma Baata programme in Ranga Reddy district. This leaves him without a Government helicopter and he may have to depend on a private one.

A top official of Andhra Pradesh Civil Aviation Corporation, a government undertaking which maintains the eight-seater twin-engined Augusta Westland helicopter, said there was no scope for using the helicopter as it was totally destroyed as its fuel tanks were almost full.

Bought for Rs. 65 crore

It was purchased for an amount of Rs 65 crore four years ago when Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister from the Anglo-Italian firm Fenmeccania, a leader in vertical lift market.

The ill-fated copter was brought in pieces by a Russian transport plane to Palam airport (New Delhi) where it was assembled and flown to Hyderabad.

Government helicopters in Andhra Pradesh always seemed to be jinxed. The first copter acquired by the government was christened Yadagiri by then Chief Minister T. Anjaiah.

The single-engine Alouette helicopter, acquired from France, landed amidst paddy fields once following a technical snag.

For good, it was later disposed of.

Its replacement, a six-seater Bell-430 helicopter, was purchased from the US when N. Chandrababu Naidu was the Chief Minister. It crashed on September 2, 2009 in the dense Nallamala forests in Kurnool district, killing then Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, both pilots and three officials.

Capt. Ajit Kokkeri and Manish of Air Claim which is associated with National Insurance Company, are arriving here on Wednesday to inspect the destroyed copter. The government had insured the helicopter for Rs. 63 crore.