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Assam-bound chopper from Arunachal Pradesh makes emergency landing in Bhutan


A Guwahati-bound private chopper, operated by Skyone Airways, was forced to make an emergency landing in Bhutan on Monday when the pilot noticed a technical fault after take-off from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

All 14 passengers and five crew members are safe.

The chopper made an emergency landing after the pilot noticed a fire warning signal in the cockpit , government sources said. The incident took place when the chopper was flying over Bhutan.

As per protocol, the crew released fire extinguishers in the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). But because of the fire warning,  they had to land in the nearest  airport or a helipad as per the standard operating procedure.

Guwahati's Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport was still 35 minutes away.

The pilots then decided to try and land in Bhutan's Nganglam, a border town with Assam. The Bhutanese air traffic control at Paro gave them clearance for land at Paro, 50 km away from capital Thimpu. 

The chopper, Skyone MI-172, landed at Bhutan's Nganglam helipad.

The Arunachal Pradesh government is bringing back the passenger with the help of the Bhutan government, government sources said.

A team of Skyone Airways is on its way to Bhutan to inspect and repair the chopper.