Jun 21, 2008 News Comments Off on New helicopter out of the skies, reason unknown
One of the recently purchased Bell 206 B III Jet Ranger helicopters that were being used in the interior to hunt the remaining members of the gang flushed out at Christmas Falls is currently not in action.
A senior army source confirmed that the helicopter is currently not flying but declined to say why.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the helicopter developed mechanical faults as a result of the rigorous flying it had to endure while assisting in the hunt for the gang.
Main opposition party leader Robert Corbin in light of the recent brazen attacks such as the one on the East La Penitence Police Station, the shooting to death of Arjune Narine on Middleton Street, as well as the attempted bombing of the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport had told this newspaper, “Clearly the purchase of the two Bell 206 has not made an impact on the crime situation in Guyana.”
The government came in for heavy criticism regarding the type of helicopter that was purchased and Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, had asked the public to wait and give the copters some time to prove their worth.
One of the more prominent critics of the purchase was that of Captain Gerry Gouveia who heads Roraima Airways.
The Head of State, Bharrat Jagdeo hit back at Captain Gouveia’s comment that the choppers were not suitable for crime fighting because of their limited capacity to carry troops.
The President told the operatives of Government Information Agency (GINA) that, “One should understand the reason for purchasing the helicopters.” This, he said, was mainly for surveillance.
“I think the comment that the helicopters are not for crime fighting because they have limited capacity to carry people is a silly one. You have to understand crime fighting in different ways; it is not just transporting troops. It is also about surveillance. It is about ensuring you have visibility, you can track people.”
Head of the Presidential Secretariat told media operatives that the helicopters which have been purchased at a cost of $1.5M would be capable of seating four persons also with the pilot and is efficient for search and rescue as well as surveillance.
According to Luncheon, probably the most impressive capability of the helicopter will be the fact that it will be equipped with infra-red capability which can be used to detect the warmth of a human body in dense terrain such as Guyana’s jungle.
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