Changes in pilot training by IAF to lessen crashes

IAF has undertaken changes in its pilot training programme to bring down crashes involving its aircraft, defence ministry officials have said.

Updated: Nov 06, 2011, 14:40 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian Air Force has undertaken
changes in its pilot training programme and other aspects of
flying to bring down crashes involving its aircraft, defence
ministry officials have said.

This was conveyed by IAF officers to Defence Minister AK
Antony who had called a meeting of the top air force brass and
ministry officials in the wake of recent air crashes, they
said.

During the meeting, the minister was given a detailed
account of the recent crashes involving IAF planes and the
measures taken by the force to check such accidents in future,
the officials said.

They said IAF officers gave a presentation to the Defence
Minister last week on the changes in pilot training programme
and other aspects of flying to bring down crashes.

Of the six air crashes involving IAF planes this year,
four belonged to the MiG-21 fighter aircraft series. Most of
the crashes had taken place between August and October.

According to the officials, a total 976 MiG-21 planes had
been inducted into the service since 1960s and over half of
them were lost in accidents.

A MiG-29 fighter plane had recently crashed in the Lahaul
Valley in Himachal Pradesh while it was on a routine night-
flying training sortie. While the wreckage of the plane was
found by an IAF search team after a nine-day exercise, there
is still no news of the pilot, Squadron Leader Dharmendra
Singh Tomar.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne while talking to
reporters on the occasion of Air Force Day parade last month
had said that most of the accidents had taken place due to
inexperience of the pilots who were unable to control the
aircraft during take offs and landings.

Stressing upon the need for a basic trainer aircraft to
train young pilots, he had said various steps were being
taken, including devoting greater number of hours to simulator
flying, to bring down pilot casualty in the force.

PTI