Sukhoi crashed near Pune due to unknown fault: IAF



New Delhi: The Su-30MKI aircraft crashed near Pune on Tuesday due to an unknown fault that gave no indication to the pilot and an expert team from Russia has arrived to address it, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne on Friday said.

The flying of entire fleet of 120 aircraft which was suspended after the mishap will resume from Monday.

"There was a problem in the fly-by-wire system... This is a new thing. Pilot did not get any warning. There were no indications in the cockpit and the aircraft was out of control," the IAF chief told agency here.

He said the pilot "tried his best to control the aircraft for 15-20 minutes" before ejecting out along with the Weapon Systems Operator (WSO).

Wing Commander G S Sohal was the pilot of the aircraft with Flight Lieutenant U Nautiyal as his WSO.

The first Su-30MKI which had crashed over Rajasthan in 2009 also faced problems in its fly-by wire system.

Asked if the recent air crash was also due to the similar problem, the IAF chief said that was a "different issue".

The ill-fated Su-30 had taken off from Pune's Lohegaon air base at 1240 hours and crashed soon after near Wade Bolhai village there at 1310 hours on Tuesday.

Browne said reports about the grounding of the aircraft were "not correct" as after proper checks, the whole fleet will start flying from Monday.

IAF has a fleet of around 120 such aircraft deployed at different locations in Pune, Bareilly, Tezpur, Chabua and Jodhpur and have remained on ground since Tuesday.

Browne said an expert team from Russia, which is the original manufacturer of the combat aircraft, has arrived in the country today and will help in addressing the issue.

India had procured the aircraft from Russia in the 90s and since their induction in 1997, only three mishaps have occurred. After the mishap, the Defence Ministry said that it was surprised over the crash of one of its frontline Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft, which are the latest and most-advanced war planes in IAF inventory.

PTI