IAF mulling changes in pilot training modules

IAF is planning to change its pilot training modules and other aspects of flying, due to its concern over 6 crashes involving its planes this year.

Last Updated: Nov 06, 2011, 19:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Concerned over six crashes
involving its planes this year, IAF is planning to change its
pilot training modules and other aspects of flying, Defence
Ministry officials have said.

Defence Minister AK Antony will review the changes to
the pilot training programme and other related issues at a
meeting of the top air force brass and ministry officials next

During the meeting, the Minister will be 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 told PTI here.

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, the remains of the
pilot Squadron Leader Dharmendra Singh Tomar were traced
yesterday.

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