IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI jet crashes in open field in Nashik, pilots eject safely; third such crash in a month

An Indian Air Force jet crashed in an open farm field near Pimpalgaon Baswant town in Nashik, Maharashtra on Wednesday.

The IAF jet Sukhoi Su-30MKI crashed in Wavi-Tushi village at around 11 am on Wednesday, and both the pilots ejected on time and are safe, the police said. They have been rushed for medical care.

The Economic Times reported that the fighter jet was a production aircraft of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and was being tested before delivery.

An IAF Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft. PIB

An IAF Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft. PIB

The cause of the crash is speculated to be a technical failure in the aircraft, although it can only be confirmed after primary investigations. A team has been sent to the scene to look into the incident. The pilots were engaged in a training activity at the time of the crash, CNN-News18 reported.

A top official involved with the aircraft production said that the Sukhoi in today's crash was the first of the batch produced at the Aircraft Manufacturing Division at HAL Nashik this year.

"Normally around 12 aircraft for a new squadron are manufactured and each aircraft, worth over Rs 300 crore, has a manufacturing cycle of around 3 years," the official said.

"This particular aircraft had completed several flights and was about to be inducted into the IAF," he said.

Before induction, such aircraft are flown by either HAL pilots or IAF pilots under deputation with HAL, he said.

Asked about villagers seeing three parachutes in the sky after the sky, the official the illusion of the third parachute may be due to the canopy opening first before both the pilots ejected to safety.

The aircraft, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under license by the HAL had taken off from the HAL airstrip near Nashik, police said. The IAF personnel at Ojhar Air Force station have rushed to the site, police said.

According to reports, there was no one in the field when they crashed and were no injuries. However, locals working in the surrounding areas rushed to the spot when they heard a loud sound and assisted in helping the pilots get medical attention.

Not the first IAF jet to crash this month

Earlier this month, two separate incidents of crashes of the Indian Air Force's Jaguar jets occurred in Gujarat.

On 8 June, an Indian Air Force Jaguar had a minor accident when technical difficulties developed during the landing. The pilot was on a routine training mission from the Jamnagar Air Force base, reported The Economic Times.

On 5 June, an Air Force Commodore tragically lost his life as the Jaguar he was piloting crashed in Gujarat's Kutch soon after take-off, NDTV reported.

Sanjay Chauhan, Air Officer Commanding of the Jamnagar Air Force station, was conducting a routine run when it crashed, according to NDTV.

Before these two successive Jaguar crashes, an IAF Cheetah helicopter crash landed at Natha Top in Jammu and Kashmir on 23 May. The helicopter, too, was on a routine sortie and a court of inquiry was ordered, according to The Economic Times.

The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter meant for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. The first of the Su-30 planes were inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s. Since then, at least six crashes have taken place. Probes into the accidents have indicated mostly technical failure, as reported by The Times of India.

With inputs from PTI.


Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 14:56 PM

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