DN - Defence Notes

Two IAF pilots killed in plane crash

15th February 2018 - 18:30 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in New Delhi


The Indian Air Force (IAF) said two of its pilots were killed on 15 February after their plane crashed in a remote northeastern state.

The microlight plane crashed soon after taking off for a routine sortie from Jorhat airbase in Assam state.

An IAF official said the pilots attempted an emergency landing but the plane crashed and burst into flames.

The official said: ‘Both the pilots died in the crash and a court of enquiry has been ordered.’

It was not immediately clear what caused the two-seater to crash, but accidents are not uncommon.

More than 170 IAF pilots have lost their lives in accidents in the past three decades, with crashes blamed on its ageing fleet.

Most of the accidents involve Soviet-era MIGs unflatteringly dubbed ‘flying coffins’. In May 2017 two IAF pilots were killed in Assam after their Russian-made fighter jet crashed near the border with China.

India is investing billions of dollars to modernise its decades-old fleet.

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