Snag in Pranab copter

Citizens are often asked to disembark an aircraft due to a “technical fault,” but on Wednesday, President Pranab Mukherjee had to switch helicopters after the pilot of his IAF chopper (an MI-17) reported a technical snag. He left for Puducherry as scheduled in a standby helicopter to take part in the 23rd annual convocation of Pondicherry University.
Airport sources said the helicopter carrying the President and Union minister V. Narayanasamy was unable to take off. “The President was informed and transferred to another chopper. Another chopper carrying his entourage also left Chennai around 10.42 am,” the source added.
The airport source noted that a spare helicopter (MI-8) was sourced from Yelahanka Air Force Station near Bengaluru and that too reached Puducherry on Wednesday afternoon, there thus being three helicopters available for VVIP movement. “Usually, there is a main helicopter for the President, another as standby and a third for his entourage and baggage,” a retired Indian Air Force officer said.

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