IAF defends pilot's move not to fly Gogoi, Rahul from Guwahati to Assam refugee camps

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 12, 2012 08:00 hrs

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has defended the decision taken by its pilot not to ferry Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi to Dubri, Chirang and Kokrajhar because of the bad weather and taking into note the flight safety and the safety of the VIPs on board.

The last leg was planned from Kokrajhar to Guwahati around 5 p.m. The weather at Guwahati was reported as continuous rain, lightning and thundershowers, with two Cumulo-Nimbus (CB) cells overhead and in the vicinity of the airfield.

The Civil Met Department at Guwahati had also issued a weather warning at 5 p.m. for rain and thundershowers with winds gusting to 20 kts (36 kmph). The weather at diversionary airfield Hasimara and enroute from Kokrahar to Guwahati was also overcast with low clouds and wide spread rain patches.

Based on the prevailing weather and approaching sunset, the pilot taking the safety of the VIP as being paramount, arrived at the decision that it was unsafe to undertake the flight.

The pilot's decision was taken using his professional judgment in the interest of safety of aircraft and its occupants.

The helicopter has still not been able to return to Guwahati due to continuing bad weather. (ANI)

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