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MiG crashes due to pilots` inexperience: IAF Chief

Last Updated: Saturday, October 8, 2011 - 16:28

Hindon (Ghaziabad): The Indian Air Force (IAF)
on Saturday said most of the recent MiG-21 crashes have been caused
due to inexperience of young pilots in handling the aircraft.

"Unfortunately except for one case, the other cases point
towards inexperience of young pilots who were not been able to
handle the landing and approach (of the aircraft)," IAF chief
NAK Browne said here.

He was asked to comment on recent crashes of MiG-21
fighter aircraft this year including the one which crashed in
Barmer district of Rajasthan on Friday.

Out of the six air crashes involving IAF planes this year,
four belonged to the MiG-21 series. Of the total 976 MiG-21s
inducted in the service since 1960s, over half of them have
been lost in the crashes.

On training young pilots, Browne said, "The present batch
is going to be the last course of pilots who would be flying
the MiG-21s. We are not very happy about their going directly
for the Stage-III training on the MiGs. But we actually have
no alternative."

On training rookie pilots on Hawk Advance Jet Trainers
(AJT), he said, "Presently we have only 52 of these (Hawks),
and from 187th course all the pilots will be flying Hawks in
their Stage-III training."

Referring to procurement of Basic Trainer Aircraft, Browne
said the matter was before the Finance Ministry and expressed
confidence that the contract to procure these aircraft will
soon be signed with the Swiss firm Pilatus.

"The basic trainer aircraft is in the final stage (of
procurement) and the case is with the Finance Ministry. I am
extremely confident that by the end of this month ... we
should be able to sign the contract with Pilatus," he said.

The last course of young pilots flying on MiG-21 as part
of their Stage-III training will be over by December 2012.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, October 8, 2011 - 16:28
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