Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Indian Air Force pilot refuses to ferry AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi

GUWAHATI: An IAF chopper pilot who took AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to riot-hit areas of lower Assam from Guwahati airport on Tuesday refused to ferry him back citing bad weather. The pilot stood his ground despite defence minister A K Antony intervening.

"Guwahati ATC had cleared its flight but the IAF had a bad weather report," a source said. The chopper carried Rahul to Kokrajhar from Dhubri, from where he returned to Guwahati by road. Rahul will fly back to New Delhi by a special aircraft on Tuesday morning.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who accompanied Rahul by the same chopper, is returning by train . The IAF refused to reveal the name of its pilot.

"The IAF earlier rejected Salakati helipad for the chopper's landing in Kokrajhar saying it was unsafe. 

A new helipad was built overnight at nearby Bongaigaon stadium. The IAF again refused to land at Bongaigaon and took the chopper to Kokrajhar at 2.45 pm. The weather over Kokrajhar was alright but the pilot said that weather over Guwahati wasn't suitable for flying. At 5.30 pm, Rahul returned to Guwahati by road," a source said.

Source:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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