Thursday, September 21, 2017

Htoo to retrieve stranded chopper: official

The boss is back – but his helicopter is not. A US$2-million helicopter owned by Htoo Trading remains stranded on 4500-metre (15,000-foot) Madwel mountain in northern Kachin State, close to the border with India, a company official said last week.

But Htoo Trading plans to retrieve the French-made “Eurocopter”, purchased in 2010, before the rainy season begins, said U Ye Min Oo, managing director of Asia Green Development Bank, a Htoo Trading subsidiary company.

The helicopter is not damaged but the lower part of the helicopter remains stuck in the snow.

“We are still trying to work out how to lift it out of the thick snow; we haven’t come up with a solution yet. However, we definitely plan to retrieve it at some stage before May. We will probably have to rent a helicopter,” U Ye Min Oo told The Myanmar Times last week. “The rainy season is when most of the snow melts. We are concerned that if it is up on the mountain when the snow melts, the water will carry it away or damage it.”

The helicopter landed on the mountain in bad weather early on February 21 and was unable to take off again. Six people, including Htoo Trading owner U Tay Za, were stranded on the mountain for more than three days but were later rescued by a helicopter hired from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The group was scouting ahead of a planned hiking trip in March.