A major tragedy was on Monday averted when a bird hit Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s helicopter while it was taking off.
An eagle hit the helicopter during its take off at the HAL Airport here when Siddaramaiah was flying to Shravanabelagola along with Karnataka Home Minister, Dr G Parameshwara. But the alert pilot averted a major tragedy and landed the chopper safely.
A helicopter carrying Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah suffered a bird hit and made an emergency landing at the HAL Airport on Monday shortly after take-off, a police official said.
Mr. Siddaramaiah and four others, including Home Minister G. Parameshwara, who were on board, were safe, said Assistant Commissioner of Police P. Nagesha Kumar.
After safety checks, the helicopter took off again to Shravanbelgola, where the CM and the ministers attended a programme to lay the foundation stone for works worth ₹71 crore.
The chopper did not suffer any damage in the bird hit, he said. He also said, the Chief Minister and others left for Shravanabelogala in Hassan district as scheduled by the same helicopter a few minutes later after clearance, adding, they landed at the destination.
Siddaramaiah was on an official visit to Shravanabelogala to launch developmental schemes for “Mahamasthakabhisheka”, a once in a 12-year event at the Jain pilgrimage centre scheduled for February next year.
Mahamasthakabhisheka is the anointment of the 57 foot high monolithic statue of Jain deity Lord Gommateshwara, also known as Bahubali, located on Vindyagiri at Shravanabelogala.
It may be recalled that a helicopter that Siddaramaiah was to board in January 2015 from the same airport developed technical snags. Fore broke out in a part of the helicopter which was noticed by the ground staff. The Chief Minister had cancelled his helicopter ride and travelled by road after the snag was noticed. The Chief Minister along with then home minister K J George were seated in the helicopter when the fire was noticed.