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Pilots of YSR's helicopter identified

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 03, 2009 00:40 IST
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The two pilots on board in the helicopter carrying Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, which went missing a hour after it took off from Hyderbad on Wednesday morning, were identified as Captain S K Bhatia and co-pilot M S Reddy, according to sources.

Chief Minister's Principal Secretary P Subramanyam and Chief Security Officer A S C John Wesley and the two pilots were on board the missing twin-engined government helicopter which took off from the old Begumpet airport in Hyderabad at 8.35 am to Chitoor.

The CM was supposed to land Chitoor at 10.45 am but his chopper lost radio contact with Air Traffic Control at the Old Begumpet Airport after 9.35 am and since then there has not been any contact with the Chief Minister.

The government helicopter AW-139 chopper, was not used on Wednesday for the Chief Minister's trip though it's a long-haul flight, and the CM was taken in the Bell-430. The AW-139, which is an all-weather helicopter, was grounded for service inspection after completing 300 hours of flying, sources added.

US offers help in locating Andhra CM

Meanwhile, the United States has offered all help in locating Y S R Reddy whose helicopter went missing in the state this morning.

US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer was in touch with Home Minister P Chidambaram through the day and offered all help in this development, the Embassy spokesman said. His heart goes out to all those involved in the development, the spokesman said.

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