Missing IAF AN-32 aircraft underscores plague of accidents in India Air Force; list of MiG, Sukhoi, Jaguar mishaps since 2000

Search operations for the missing AN-32 flight of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are still being carried out on Tuesday by C-130J and ground patrols of the Indian Army. The AN-32 flight, with 13 people on board, went missing on Monday after taking off from Jorhat in Assam.

The aircraft was delayed in landing by over two hours in the Menchuka air-field of Arunachal Pradesh. It last contacted ground sources at 1 pm, after taking off from Jorhat airbase at 12.25 pm. There were 13 people on board the aircraft, of which eight were crew members and five were passengers.

To locate the missing aircraft, the IAF launched Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 special operation aircraft on a search mission. It also launched ground troops for locating the aircraft and people on board. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that IAF vice-chief Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria apprised him of the steps taken in view of the incident.

The IAF has been plagued with incidents of crashes and missing planes across the various models of aircraft it has inducted into the fleet over the years. Here is a list of most of the accidents involving MiG-21, AN-32, and Sukhoi Su-30 planes over the last decade:

 Missing IAF AN-32 aircraft underscores plague of accidents in India Air Force; list of MiG, Sukhoi, Jaguar mishaps since 2000

Representational image. ANI

AN-32 aircraft

10 June, 2009: One of the first AN-32 accidents reported was when an aircraft crashed in Arunachal Pradesh, killing all 13 people onboard. This incident is reportedly what prompted India to upgrade the aircraft in the air force.

July 2016: In 2016, an aircraft travelling from Chennai to Port Blair went missing in July with 29 people onboard. However, after the search operations yielded no results, all the people were presumed dead and the search was called off.

Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft

30 April, 2009: An IAF pilot killed and another seriously injured in the first-ever Su-30 MKI fighter jet crash near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

30 November, 2009: A Sukhoi fighter jet crashed during a routine training sortie south-west of Pokhran firing ranges in Rajasthan. The two pilots, Wing Commander Srivastava and Flight Lieutenant Arora, bailed out safely.

13 December, 2011: A Sukhoi jet crashed soon after taking off from Lohegaon airbase near Pune but both the pilots managed to bail out safely. The aircraft was on a routine mission.

19 February, 2013: A Sukhoi aircraft crashed in Jaisalmer but both the pilots bailed out safely. There was no loss of life or damage to property on the ground.

14 October, 2014: A Sukhoi jet crashed at a village near Pune. Both the pilot and the co-pilot were unharmed.

19 May, 2015: A Sukhoi fighter crashed at Laokhowa in Nagaon district of Assam with both the pilot and co-pilot ejecting safely. It was on a routine sortie from Tezpur Air Force station and lost radar connection and crashed thereafter.

15 March, 2017: A Sukhoi aircraft crashed in Rajasthan's Barmer district, injuring three villagers. Both the pilots ejected safely from the plane.

27 June, 2018: A Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter jet has crashed near Nashik in Maharashtra on 27 June, 2018.

14 July, 2018: A Sukhoi Su-30MKI went missing while on a training mission near Tezpur, Assam. The aircraft's wreckage was found three days later along with the black box. Both the pilots, Ft Lt Achudev and Sqn Ld D Pankaj were killed as they were unable to eject before the crash.

MiG aircraft

4 April, 2002: A MIG-21 crashed in Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. The pilot ejected safely.

May, 2002: At least seven people died when a MiG-21 crashed into a residential area in Punjab.

26 June, 2002: A MiG-27 caught fire on the runway at the military airport in Srinagar.

26 June, 2002: A Mig-23 fighter crashed in Punjab at the peak of India-Pakistan tensions but the Pilot ejected safely.

15 July, 2002: A MiG-21 aircraft caught fire in mid-air and crashed into a pond in a sparsely-populated village near Phansidewa in Darjeeling district in West Bengal. The pilot and a trainee pilot ejected and were rescued with minor injuries.

9 September, 2002: Two fighter planes of MiG-21 variant, which had been cleared for flying after being grounded for weeks, crashed in Haryana and Rajasthan. The pilots bailed out unhurt. One jet crashed in the fields on the outskirts of Chaurmaspur village near Ambala cantonment while another crashed in Shivpur in Pali district in Rajasthan.

4 April, 2003: Three women and a child on the ground were killed and five persons were injured, four of them seriously, after a Mig-23 fighter crashed in a residential area in Dashmesh Nagar locality in Ludhiana in Punjab.

7 April, 2003: A MiG-21 fighter jet crashed into a milk processing plant in Haryana, injuring at least three people.

4 June, 2003: A MiG-21 aircraft of Indian Air Force crashed shortly after take-off from Uttarlai Air Base in Rajasthan killing the pilot. Flight Lt AS Jamwal was killed after the aircraft caught fire and plunged into a nearby field in Barmer.

15 July, 2003: A twin-seater MiG-21 fighter-trainer crashed near Srinagar airbase. Both pilots — Wing Commander R Rastogi and Flight Lieutenant Ganesh — were killed. The jet hit the ground after it suffered loss of power while trying to pull up from a low-flying position. This was the sixth IAF fighter and the fifth of the MiG series to crash in 2003.

8 March, 2018: An Indian Air Force's MiG-21 crashed near Nal in Rajasthan, however, the pilot ejected safely. A court of inquiry was set up to investigate the cause of the accident. IAF spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said initial inputs indicated that the likely cause was a bird which was hit after take off.

31 March, 2018: A MiG 27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan but the pilot ejected safely. The fighter jet had taken off from the Utarlai airforce base but the jet experienced engine problems leading to the crash at around 11.45 am in Sirohi district around 120 kilometres south of Jodhpur.

8 May, 2018: A MiG- 27 aircraft had crashed at Tantipara near Alipurduar town in West Bengal following a technical problem, killing two civilians on the ground though the pilot ejected safely. A court of inquiry was ordered.

4 September, 2018: A MiG 27 crashed near Jodhpur's Banad area.

Jaguar aircraft

5 June, 2018: Air Commodore Sanjay Chauhan passed away after his Jaguar fighter plane went down in the Mundra taluk of the Kutch region in northwestern Gujarat. This was the second alarming incident in the month of June 2018 with an Indian Air Force Jaguar.

8 June, 2018: An Indian Air Force's 'Jaguar' developed a snag while landing and had a minor accident. The pilot was on a routine training mission from the Jamnagar Air Force base.

28 January, 2019: A Jaguar fighter of the Indian Air Force crashed in the Kushinagar district Uttar Pradesh. Though, the pilot was able to eject safely in time using his tactical expertise to land the plane away from the habitation nearby. A court of enquiry was ordered to investigate the accident, the Defence PRO in Lucknow said.

Mirage 2000

1 February, 2019: A Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft, which was recently upgraded by the defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), crashed soon after taking off at the HAL airport resulting in the deaths of Sqn Ldr Siddartha Negi and Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol, both test pilots with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE).

The aircraft was repaired by HAL and was in HAL airport for an acceptance test flight before reinduction. HAL, which has been upgrading the Mirage fleet under a contract from 2015, said: The Company has initiated an enquiry into the accident in coordination with the Indian Air Force.”

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2019 10:48:26 IST