Helicopter stunts are usually one of the most dangerous ones to pull off in films. One wrong move and you could end up losing your life as it happened in the tragic case of two Kannada actors who reportedly drowned after jumping into a dam from a helicopter. In Bollywood, if there is one man who has showcase sheer daredevilry on helicopters and planes, it’s Akshay Kumar. Akshay has done it all — from playing with fire to being on top of planes while they are in flight. In one of his earlier movies named Ashaant released in the early 90s, Akshay performed a high-risk stunt that of hanging from a chopper while it raced amidst cars and buses.
Recollecting the stunt, Puneet Issar who was the main villain opposite Akshay told indianexpress.com, “We had a helicopter scene in the film where I jump on to a helicopter. I was fighting on ground with Akshay when the helicopter comes in and I try to escape. The chopper was about six to seven feet high in the air and I had to jump on to the rope, climb it and then enter the chopper. Akshay was to follow suit and the scene was such that the chopper would take off with me inside and Akshay hanging from the rope. We both did the stunts ourselves. Akshay was wearing safety harness while hanging but still it was a very risky affair. As per the scene, I as the villain had to use the helicopter to try and crash Akshay into running cars and buses. Akshay actually used his feet to run on top of the moving cars and buses while hanging from the chopper. Had his feet broken any of the glass panes of the bus and his leg got stuck, it would have been dangerous. We were lucky that nothing happened.”
Puneet shudders while thinking about the stunt today. “We were young and strong. There was an adrenalin rush. Today I would think twice before attempting something like that.”
While expressing his condolences at the tragic outcome of the Kannada movie stunt, Puneet himself recalled a stunt from his own career that almost ended the life of one of India’s biggest cinematic legends, Amitabh Bachchan. Said Puneet, “In Coolie, I had to punch Amitabh Bachchan and he was supposed to fall behind. We did many rehearsals and it all went right till then. But during the shoot, he fell behind and banged a board and came forward and unfortunately my punch hit him.”
Recollecting another mishap from the movie Krrish, Puneet narrated, “One of the cables with which Hrithik was suspended broke but luckily another cable was still intact because of which he didn’t get injured. Had both cables snapped, it could have been worse.”
Stressing on the need to have good safety measures in place, Puneet said, “Every precaution has to be taken care of while doing a stunt. In case of jumping into a river, one has to be a good swimmer and also have the ability to hold breath for a long time underwater. There also has to be an ambulance and boats as standby measures to save lives incase something goes wrong.”