Andhra orders probe into ‘misuse’ of official chopper

Hyderabad, May 13: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Sunday ordered a probe into the alleged misuse of his official helicopter by a pilot and a technician.

The chief minister directed Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi to submit a detailed report, a statement from the chief minister’s office said.

Captain Barun Gupta and technician Sagar allegedly took their friends on a joy ride on the Agusta AW139 helicopter March 19.

They reportedly flew over Hyderabad for a couple of hours, in a major breach of security norms. The incident took place soon after the Indian Aviation 2012 concluded at Begumpet airport here, but it came to light only Saturday.

The pilot and technician allegedly took clearance from Andhra Pradesh Aviation Corporation and Air Traffic Control (ATC) by saying it would be a “trial run” for the proposed aerial survey of the city by Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy.

According to sources in the corporation, which takes care of operation and maintenance of the official chopper, the authorities did not raise any objection as Gupta had been regularly flying the chopper.

It has also come to light that besides Gupta and Sagar, two others persons, including a woman, were on board but their details were not entered in the log book, which is mandatory.