MiG crashes due to pilots’ inexperience: IAF chief


Hindon (Ghaziabad) : A day after a MiG-21 combat plane crashed near Uttarlai in Rajasthan, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne Saturday said of the last three accidents, two were caused by “inexperience of young pilots”.

Support TwoCircles

“As far as the two-three accidents we had of the MiG-21s, unfortunately, except for one case, the other cases are pointing towards inexperience of young pilots, who have not been able to handle the (high speed) landing,” Browne told reporters here after inspecting the Air Force Day parade.

However, rookie pilots would not be flying from January 2013 the supersonic “unforgiving” MiG-21s, which have a landing speed of about 330 kmph.

“This is the last (pilot training) course which will be flying the MiG-21. After this, all pilots will be trained on Hawk (advanced jet trainer). This course will finish in December next year. So this is very crucial period. We have to be very careful,” Browne said.

The air crashes were also linked to the lack of basic trainers for the IAF, which grounded the HPT-32 Deepak last year after it claimed 23 pilots’ lives and had 108 engine cuts.

India is expected to order for 75 Swiss Pilatus PC-7 basic trainers later this month as a replacement for the Deepaks.

“This (air crashes) is also linked to the basic trainer aircraft, which is a starting point. If the base is good, solid…then you will not have this problem. Basic trainer aircraft case is in the final stages and this is with ministry of finance, and we hope that by the end of this month, and if not by end of this month… we will sign the contract for Pilatus PC-7,” Browne added.

Friday’s air crash was the fourth MiG-21 accident this year. Of them, only one accident had pilot fatalities.