Concerned Antony asks IAF to check crashes
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 00:10
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 October.

Incidentally, of the total 976 MiG-21s inducted in the service since 1960s, over half of them have been lost in crashes.

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.


First Published: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 00:10

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