Bharatiya Janata Party MP Manoj Tiwari's helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at Patna airport on Thursday after it lost communication with the Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Tiwari along with his support staff were on the way to Bettiah for a political rally on Thursday morning. The chopper was untraceable for 40 minutes due to technical error.
"The helicopter took off at 10.10 a.m. from the Patna airport and soon after it's departure, it lost control with the ATC. It was an extremely panic situation for us as the pilot of the helicopter lost its way. There was complete communication failure between the helicopter and the ATC," said Neel Bakshi, who accompanied Manoj Tiwari in the helicopter.
"It was a horrible experience of 40 minutes as we did not know where we were. Then the pilot of the helicopter used a manual book to return to Patna airport. Since there was no method to contact the ATC, the pilot had to switch on the emergency lights in a bid to send a signal to the ATC. It flew in the surroundings of the Patna airport several times before the ATC granted permission to land at the airport," Bakshi said.
During the emergency landing, all other flying operations at the airport were suspended until that helicopter landed safely on the ground. The Airport authority put emergency services like fire engine, medical staff and an ambulance on standby to deal with any kind of eventuality.
Due to this incident, the helicopter of several leaders, including Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai were delayed.
This was the second incident at the Patna airport involving the top political leaders. Earlier, the wings of a helicopter carrying Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey hit a wire and a concrete wall during landing a week ago.