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Midair+scare+for+Minister+Amaraweera
Monday, 15 January 2018 - 13:10
Midair scare for Minister Amaraweera
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The license of the helicopter pilot who had lost the way to the runway of the Palali Airport with Minister Mahinda Amaraweera onboard has been suspended.
 
The Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority, H. M. C. Nimalsiri said that a special investigation has already been initiated to probe the incident.
 
The UPFA General Secretary, Minister, Mahinda Amaraweera was flying to Jaffna onboard a helicopter operated by a domestic firm, to attend a Thai Pongal festival yesterday (Jan. 14) when the mishap occurred.
 
Although the helicopter was scheduled to land in Palali Airport after one hour from taking off, the pilot was airborne for more than that prompting the security detail to inquire it from the pilot.
 
It was found that the pilot had lost his way and was heading towards Thalai Mannar.
 
Later, the chief security officer had used Google Map and instructed the pilot to divert the helicopter towards Palali.
 
Ultimately, the helicopter reached Palali an hour behind schedule.
 
It was also reported that the helicopter was running out of fuel at the time of arrival.
 
The Sri Lanka Air Force had assisted the distressed pilot to land the helicopter.
 
Air Force Media Spokesperson Group Captain Gihan Senevirathna refuted the rumor that the helicopter belongs to Sri Lanka Air Force.
 
Group Captain Senevirathna said that the helicopter was owned by a private company.
 
Then the Air Force had helped the Minister to return to Colombo this morning.
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