S. Sandeep Kumar
There have been some miraculous escapes as well
HYDERABAD: From last year's helicopter crash that killed Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to the latest one, Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing aircraft accidents galore.
Not counting multiple Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft crashes on the outskirts of Hyderabad and on the fringes of Medak district, there have been several instances of fatal accidents — as well as miraculous escapes.
Dr. Reddy along with four others including two pilots were killed when the Bell 430 chopper in which they were proceeding to Chittoor crashed into the Nallamala forest in Kurnool district six months ago.
Residential area crash
In Hyderabad, there was a crash in a residential area in 2008 when a Cessna FA 152 aircraft of the A.P Aviation Academy nose-dived into a colony near Sanatnagar. Instructor Neeraj Jain and trainee P. Srinivas were killed.
The same year, another Bell 430 chopper of Ran Air Services flying from Hyderabad to Jagadalpur in Chhattisgarh hit a hill in Khammam district in bad weather.
Four persons including two crew members died. The wreckage was located after three months.
Lok Sabha Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi was killed in 2002 when the chopper carrying him crashed at Kaikalur near Vijayawada as the pilot tried to land in foggy conditions on a water surface, assuming it to be dry land.
Plane hits moped
There were narrow escapes, too. All of 144 passengers on board an Indian Airlines A-320 aircraft from Madras in 1994 escaped death at Begumpet after it hit a moped crossing the runway.
The two-wheeler driver died although the pilot managed to bring the plane to a halt.
Elsewhere, trainee pilot Madhurima Mukherjee of Flytech Aviation Academy landed safely at Warangal in her Cessna after losing direction in 2007.
One person died when Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy's Hansa 3 crash-landed on the Nagarjunasagar airstrip.
Entangled on net
An Ecureuil AS355-F2 chopper of Deccan Aviation got entangled on the net of an oil rig across Kakinada.
The chopper was damaged but the pilots and three passengers were unhurt.