December 10, 2023

Bell 47 VT-DXE is currently located at the Carver academy of Aviation in Baramati town in Maharashtra. Seen in recent years at 2007 Aero India show, the helicopter was restored to display status by Mr Shrikant Kotnis, a 90 year old RIAF/IAF veteran who was decorated for his service in the 47-48 Kashmir war. Mr. Kotnis has now written an appeal about the helicopter, after trying for years unsuccesfully to keep the helicopter airworthy.

Bell G-47 VT-DXE was seen many years ago at the Aero India 2007 at Yelahanka. The helicopter belongs to Pushpaka Aviation and was leased by Bell aviation for static display duty at the Airshow. The Engineer who worked on this helicopter is Mr. Shrikant Kotnis, a WW2 and RIAF veteran, one who was also mentioned in dispatches during the 47-48 war for his service.

Mr. Kotnis helped restore this aircraft to running condition (though it was not flown in the air) and since then the helicopter has found its way to Carver Flight Academy in Baramati town in Maharashtra. 

Mr. Kotnis tried for a while to keep the helicopter airworthy. The time now has come for the aircraft to go back to Pushpaka Aviation.  In this matter Mr. Kotnis has written an appeal which is reproduced here.. with some minor edits:

30th  November  2014

Respected  Sirs,

This  a  desperate  attempt  to  keep  ALIVE  a  HISTORICAL  HERITAGE  HELICOPTER,  a  Bell 47 G2,   VT  —  DXE,    which,  at  present  is  lying  in  Baramati  Airport,  under  the  care  of  Carver  Aviation  Academy.

This  Helicopter  manufactured  by  Bell  Helicopter  Co.,  U S A,  in  January 1957,  was  used  by  I A F  for  training  purposes.   Air  Marshal  Sekhon,  { Mesco  Airlines },  Gen  Pawar  { Global  Vectra }  and  many  many  others  have  learned  flying  on  this  type.    

In  civil  life  also  it  has  done  yeoman's  service  in  Indian  Agriculture,  carrying  out  Aerial  Spraying  of  Pesticides  and  Fertilizers  in  Maharashtra,  Gujrath,  Punjab,  Karnataka  and  Kerala  on  various  types  of  crops.

It  has  also  been  used  by  film  industry  in  films  like  Burning  Train,  Qurbany,  Roop  ki  Rani  Choron  ka  Raja  and  many  many  more.

DXE02It  has  transported  many  V V I Ps  during  election  times  in  the  past.

This  Helicopter  got  its  name  " Ageless  Beauty "  when  it  was  exhibited  in  an  International  Air  Show  held  in  2007  in  Bengaluru.

I  happen  to  have  the  unique  privilege  of  having  served  three  Air  Forces,  RAF,  RIAF  and  IAF.   I  am  proud  to  have    been  " Mentioned  in  Dispatches "   for  my  meritorious  work  rendered  in  Kashmir  Operations,  in  1947.   At  present,   at  the  age  of   90 + ,    I  have  an  A M E  License  in  A & C  categories  to  cover  FIVE  types  of  Bell  Helicopters  and  is  valid  till  13th  January  2016.       

 I  have  also  the  unique  privilege  of  being  officially  permitted  by       DGCA  to  start  an  engine  installed  on  a  helicopter,   in  spite  of       C A R  Section  2.

In  the  past,  this  helicopter  was  disposed  off  by  I A F  and  was  purchased  by  Helicopter  Services,  Juhu,  along    with  DXA,  DXB,  DXC  and  DXD.   Later   on  VT – DXB  was  purchased  by  Cama  Aviation,  Juhu  and  Agricultural  Aviation,  a  sister  concern  of  Indamer  Co,  Juhu  purchased  DXE  in   un – serviceable  condition.    I  had  completely  stripped  it  and  re built  it. The  only  defect  was  with  wooden  Main  Rotor  Blades  which  had   to  be  resurfaced  very  often.  Indamer  purchased  overhauled  metal  M / R  Blades  But  Unfortunately  nobody  noticed  the  fact  that  the  difference  between  T S N  and  T S O  was  only  about  five  hours,  definitely  indicating  a  basic  defect  during  manufacture  of  the  blades,  thus  resulting  in  slight  but  irritating  vibrations.

Sqdn  Ldr  Vincent  { POP }  Louis  has  flown  this  helicopter  for  about  100 +  hours  during  Aerial  Spraying  Ops  on  sugarcane  in  Bardoli  Gujrat.  And  he  has  created  a  record  of  spraying  2000 +  acres  in  a  day,  consecutively  for  three  days  in  Mota  Village  near  Bardoli.

DXE09I  thank  you  all  for  reading  this  so  far  and,  coming  to  the  point,    I  APPEAL  to  all  of  you  to  send  an  e mail  to  Mr  Marc  Carvalho.  CEO  of  Carver  Aviation,  { }  and  Mr  Suresh  Rao,  MD  of  Pushpa ka  Aviation  Pvt.  Ltd,  { }  to  please  come  to  a  reasonable  settlement  and  KEEP   THE  MACHINE  IN  BARAMATI  ONLY  where  I  think  it  will  be  more  useful.  Carver  Aviation,  Baramati  has  better  infrastructure  and  technical  staff  than  Pushpaka  Aviation,  Juhu.

If  my   dream  comes  true,  I  am  sure  that  Bell  Helicopter  Co  would  like  to  exhibit  it  ALIVE  with  an  ACTIVE  spray  system,  next  to  their  latest  helicopter  in  the  next  International  Air  Show.

I  leave  the  future  of  this  Helicopter  to  GOD  and  all  of  you.    At  present  I  have  the  satisfaction  to  have  tried  hard  to  save  this  HISTORICAL  HERITAGE  HELICOPTER.

With  all  the  best  wishes,  respectful  regards  and  LOTS  OF  THANKS,

Yours  sincerely,

Shrikant  Kotnis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *