March 18, 2015 10:31:32 pm
The world’s only ‘zero-fuel’ aircraft ‘Solar Impulse-2’ landed in Varanasi on Wednesday, for an overnight stopover after its pilot held the Ahmedabad ‘administration’ responsible for the delay in departure from
the city for want of customs and immigration clearance.
The plane touched down at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Babatpur shortly after 8:30 PM, completing an over 13 hour-long journey from Ahmedabad, where the plane and the crew had a week’s stopover, an official said. “The plane took off from Ahmedabad after a delay of two hours from its scheduled time,” the official said.
Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard, who had flown the airplane from Muscat to Ahmedabad, did not get clearance from the Immigration department. Hence, his co-pilot Andre Borschberg flew the world’s first solar-powered aircraft from Ahmedabad to Varanasi on Wednesday. Airport Director S K Malik and other senior officials gave a warm welcome to Borschberg, on landing.
The plane was slated to hover above river Ganga to spread the message of cleanliness and clean energy, but it was skipped due to the delay.
The SI-2 is scheduled to fly to Mandalay in Myanmar from here tomorrow morning, Chongqing and Nanjing in China and thereafter to the US.
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