New Delhi: Concerned over the recent air
crashes, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday asked the air force
(IAF) to take strict measures to check these mishaps.
In a meeting with top brass of IAF, including Air Chief
Marshal N A K Browne, the Defence Minister was given a
detailed briefing on the recent crashes and the measures taken
by the force to check such incidents in future, Defence
Ministry officials said here.
IAF officials told the Defence Minister about the steps
taken by the service including plans to change its pilot
training modules and other aspects of flying.
In one of the most recent incidents, a MiG-29 fighter
crashed in the Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh while it was
on a routine night-flying training sortie.
While the wreckage of the MiG-29 plane and the crash site
were identified by the IAF, there is still no news on the fate
of the pilot- Squadron Leader Dharmendra Singh Tomar- even
after 21 days.
Meanwhile, out of the six air crashes involving IAF
planes this year, four belonged to the MiG-21 series. Most of
the crashes have taken place between the months of August to
Incidentally, of the total 976 MiG-21s inducted in the
service since 1960s, over half of them have been lost in
The IAF chief had recently said that most of the accidents
have taken place due to inexperience of the pilots who were
unable to control the aircraft during take off and landing.
Stressing upon the need for a Basic Trainer Aircraft to
train young pilots, he had said various steps are being taken,
including more number of hours on simulator flying, to bring
down pilot casualty in the force.