Surya Kiran, Mirage 2000 jet to AN-32 aircraft: IAF has lost nearly 10 aircraft this year
The Indian Air Force has lost nearly 10 aircraft this year, the latest being an AN-32, whose wreckage was spotted on Tuesday in a heavily- forested mountainous terrain in Arunachal Pradesh.
Earlier in February, one Indian Air Force pilot died after two Hawk jet aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatics team collided mid-air in Bengaluru.
The Surya Kiran jets crashed while rehearsing for upcoming Aero India, a biennial air show held in Bengaluru.
(Photograph:Zee News Network)
Antonov An-32 transport aircraft
The wreckage of an An-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 on board last week was found in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday after eight days of intense search by the Indian Air Force.
The wreckage was found in Payum Circle of Siang district. It was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, at a height of around 12,000 feet.
In February, a MiG-27 fighter aircraft of IAF had crashed in Eta village in Pokaran tehsil of Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, a defence official had said.
"A MiG-27 aircraft airborne from Jaisalmer crashed during a routine mission, the pilot was ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident," defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh had said after the incident.
IAF Mi-17 helicopter
On February 27, a Mi-17 helicopter crashed in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least one person. The jet had crashed in an open field near Garand Kalaan village in Budgam at 10.05 am.
A court of inquiry has been probing whether the helicopter crashed after being accidentally hit by the IAF's air defence system, which was on highest alert following the Balakot strikes.
IAF's Jaguar aircraft
In January, a Jaguar aircraft of the Indian Air Force(IAF) had crashed in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar district, with the pilot ejecting safely.
The military aircraft crashed soon after taking off on a routine mission from the Gorakhpur Air Force station.
District magistrate Anil Kumar Singh had then said the incident took place around noon when the pilot had sensed some problem in the plane and turned it towards a safe destination before jumping to safety.
Early March, a MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the IAF had crashed in Rajasthan's Bikaner district with the pilot ejecting safely, a defence ministry spokesperson had said.
The aircraft was on a routine mission and crashed after getting airborne from the Nal airbase near Bikaner.
The latest in the string of loss this year for the IAF is the Russian-origin transport aircraft AN-32 that was flying from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost contact with ground staff at 1 pm, within 33 minutes of taking off.
The IAF launched a massive operation to trace the missing aircraft but the search was badly hit due to poor weather conditions.
"The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone," the IAF said in a statement on Tuesday.
IAF after Mirage 2000
Earlier in February, Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF had crashed at the HAL airport in Bengaluru killing a pilot on the spot and leaving another critically injured, police had said.
A rescue operation was launched by the authorities. One of the two pilots died after managing to eject from the plane but he fell on the debris itself, the sources said.
The HAL, in a statement, had said the incident occurred at 10.30 am during a sortie.