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Probe in Surya Kiran crash stuck, IAF to send black box of crashed plane abroad

Two Hawk trainer jets of the IAF had crashed just a day before the Aero India show.

Probe in Surya Kiran crash stuck, IAF to send black box of crashed plane abroad
Representational image

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said that the black box of one of the two Hawk aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatic team, which crashed at Aero India on February 19 in Bengaluru, will be sent outside the country for downloading of data becuase it got damaged badly in the accident.

Two Hawk trainer jets of the IAF had crashed just a day before the Aero India show. The crash resulted in the death pilot Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who was flying his plane alone. Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Squadron leader Tejeshwar Singh were flying the other plane. 

The accident happened when the two trainer jets were practising spins and they spiralled out of control mid-air. "The black box of one of the two Hawk planes has been damaged and needs to be sent abroad for retrieving data," sources in Air Force told ANI.

Sources added that the data of the plane in which Wing Commander Gandhi was flying has been retrieved and the analysis of the data show that there was no problem with the balance of his plane balanced during the practice session. The investigators will now need to analyse the data of the plane to find out the exact cause of the crash.

The IAF has also decided to take help from original equipment manufacturer BAE Systems to retrieve the data from the damaged flight data recorder. The IAF had formed the Surya Kiran team in 1996 with an aim to showcase the skills and mettle of the IAF and also serve as its "ambassador".

It may be recalled that the Surya Kirans were grounded after Aero India 2011 becuase of a shortage of training aircraft in the IAF. The IAF, however, decided to bring back the aerobatics team for Aero India in 2017, after a hiatus of six years.

(with ANI inputs)