A Robinson R44 Astro helicopter belonging to Aman Aviation and Aerospace Solutions Pvt Ltd has reportedly crashed in Filter Pada area of Aarey Colony, Goregaon, Mumbai. There were four people on board. The pilot has lost his life in the crash, while three have been injured in the incident and are at present being treated for their injuries at Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri. The pilot reported a mechanical problem, most probably in the clutch assembly, to Air Traffic Control, before the chopper crashed.
The incident was reported around 12.15 pm near Royal Palms, which is not a densely populated area. Following which, the local police and fire tenders rushed to the spot. The injured were admitted to Seven Hills Hospital. According to the Seven Hills Hospital Emergency Department, “Captain Praful Mishra was brought in dead to the hospital.”
When further questioned by this Bayside Journal correspondent about the condition of the injured, the medical superintendent Dr Rajendra Karva, Seven Hills Hospital stated, “The two of three injured are in the ICU and are being treated for their injuries.” The three injured have been identified as Ritesh Modi, 35, Vrinda Modi, 34, and Sanjeev Shankar, 24. Ritesh and Vrinda are in the ICU. While the former is very critical, the latter is being treated for burn injuries. Shankar has been transferred to the General Ward and he is out of danger.
Ritesh and Vrinda Modi from Borivali were celebrating their second wedding anniversary when this unfortunate incident took place.
A source from hospital who did not wish to be named said, “In casualties of this kind, there are dim chances for the person to recover from their injuries. As of now I can’t say whether they will be saved, but it is difficult to treat the people with more than 50% burns.”
Speaking to Bayside Journal, an aviation expert said, “In the aviation industry, safety comes first and it is of paramount importance. Each machine is stringently maintained by the operator as per the OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) maintenance directions. On completion of the required maintenance, DGCA, upon inspection gives the aircraft certificate of airworthiness (CofA). The operator has to get DGCA certification before The equipment have to be serviced on a regular basis. This particular helicopter, that is Robinson R44 Astro, was on regular maintenance according to the DGCA rule. Mechanical failure can take place anytime and it is not the fault of the pilot or the maintenance team.”
The helicopter had taken off from Juhu Airport for a joy ride. The helicopter was a Robinson R44 Astro model. This four-seat light helicopter, VT-PHB, was registered to Aman Aviation and Aerospace Solutions Pvt Ltd. The 1992 model that was originally owned by Pawan Hans, was later sold to Aman Aviation. It was used for joyrides, chartered services and other purposes as well.
We tried to get in touch with the authorities from Aman Aviation several times but the attempts were futile. The company offers joy rides for Mumbai darshan as well as for other purposes. One such joy ride can cost anywhere between Rs 3,200 to Rs 17,000 depending on the time of the flight.