Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary

Travel & Tourism

Civil aviation officials in Pokhara have launched an investigation after a chartered helicopter landed on a football ground in Waling, Syangja, where a match was underway on Thursday.

Video footage of the Prabhu Air helicopter landing at a corner of the football pitch has gone viral. As soon as the passengers get off the helicopter, its shows, the pilot and passengers being assaulted by a group of spectators.

Ranesh Dangol managed to return to Pokhara after police troops on the ground intervened, according to reports. The injured pilot sought medical attention at a Pokhara nursing home and lodged a complaint with the police.

Chief of Pokhara Regional International Airport, Bikram Raj Gautam, said an investigation had been launched to find out why the chopper landed on the football ground. 

“If found guilty, we will take action against the pilot,” he told NepalMinute.com. 

The pilot blamed the passengers, identified as four local youths of Waling, for "insisting to land on the ground" instead of a nearby river bank, where the pilot had wanted to land. Helicopters often land on helipads or clear spaces like river banks.

Goalnepal.com, which has shared the video on its Facebook page, was livestreaming the match when the helicopter suddenly showed up and landed on the ground much to the surprise of players and spectators. 

Goalnepal.com wrote on its Facebook page that the chopper “suddenly landed on the ground in a dramatic fashion with no apparent emergency”. 

The Waling football ground hosted the semi-final of the Waling Gold Cup between Cameroon-based Avnier FC Cameroon and Waling FC Junior. 

Soon after the incident, Syangja Chief District Officer (CDO), Gangabahadur Chhetri, reported the matter to the civil aviation authorities in Pokhara, from where the chopper took off. He described the matter as "very serious".

The pilot told locals that the passengers - Binod Gaire, Khim Bahadur Thapa, Sushil Giri, Sushil Thapa of Waling - were drunk during the short flight from Pokhara to Waling. 

A police complaint has been filed against the four – but they fled the scene soon after the altercation, reports say. 

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