New Delhi: The IAF today grounded its
entire MiG-27 aircraft fleet for checks following last week`s
air crash near Hashimara in which an ace fighter pilot was
It also ordered examination of the aircraft following
preliminary report of the court of inquiry suggesting that the
mishap could have taken place due to failure of "low pressure
turbine blades", a problem tackled only at the overhaul or
fourth line servicing stage.
"The MiG-27 aircraft are not flying till the checks
ordered on the fleet are completed," a senior IAF officer said
The IAF flies around 160 MiG-27 swing wing aircraft
used for both air-to-air and ground attacks in eight of the
existing 33.5 squadrons.
Earlier in the day, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P V
Naik said that the the failure of "low pressure turbine
blades" was not in the realm of day-to-day base servicing, but
was rectified only at the fourth line, overhauling stage.
He said further inquiry into the mishap that killed
Wing Commander Oswald on February 16 was in progress.
Naik also said that when an air crash took place, it
was not only a matter of grave concern for IAF and the nation,
but it also caused "pain" as both an aircraft and a life were
However, he said it was not possible to have "zero
accident" rates, but maximum effort should be made to avoid
demoralising of the forces when mishaps took place.