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CAG report slams HAL for sending defective choppers to air show

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The Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv. – Official Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI) Slamming Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for sending five Advanced Light Helicopters – Dhruvs – to air shows in south east Asia two days after technical defects grounded their whole fleet, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report says that the whole exercise resulted in an avoidable expenditure of Rs 4.94 crore to the PSU.

The report says that HAL transported the choppers to Malaysia and Thailand on November 27, 2005 to participate in air shows on the assumption that the cause of defect would be established by December 3. But, the choppers were transported back on December 5 as the cause of defects could not be established, resulting in the avoidable expenditure.

The HAL Management, the report says, stated that the decision to participate in the shows was taken to build confidence and avoid negative publicity for the chopper.

The decision, CAG says, was “imprudent and unsafe” and might have eroded the confidence in the buyers instead of them buying the helicopter fleet as the cause of defects were being investigated at that time.

On November 12, 2005, a Dhruv helicopter on its flight to Ranchi from Bangalore had to make a precautionary landing due to heavy tail rotor vibration.

The same chopper experienced the same problem again on November 25, forcing the HAL to ground the whole fleet.

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