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Su-30MKI crashes, pilot killed

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The crash occurred at 1030 hrs IST., some 70 km southeast of Jaisalmer, an IAF spokesperson said, adding that the aircraft had taken off from the Lohegaon air base near Pune.

 

The two-man crew ejected before the jet crashed. The pilot, Wing Commander S V Munje, survived but the navigator, Wing Commander P.S. Narah, succumbed to his injuries, the spokesperson added.

 

There were no reports of damage to property on the ground.

 

This is the first crash of a Su-30MKI, which was inducted into the IAF in 1997. The IAF operates three squadrons (approximately 55 aircraft) of the jet, which is being manufactured under license in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

 

It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft that crashed was among those purchased in fly away condition or had been manufactured in India

 

Its even more sad to lose an experienced & senior aviator :sad:

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30sukhoi1.jpg

JAISALMER: An IAF Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet crashed at Rajmathai village, 170km from Jaisalmer town of Rajasthan on Thursday, killing one of its

pilots. This is the first time that a Sukhoi-30 MKI, which was inducted into IAF in 2002, has crashed.

 

According to Wing Commander Tarun Kumar Singha, IAF spokesman, the aircraft took off from Pune on a routine exercise with Wing Commander S V Munje and Wing Commander P S Narah at the controls.

 

After completing the mission in Pokhran Firing Range in Jaisalmer, the plane was returning to Pune when it developed a technical snag and the pilots lost communication with Air Traffic Control. Defence PRO Lt Col N N Joshi said the crash took place around 10.20am.

 

The pilots, meanwhile, diverted the plane over an uninhabited area and tried to eject. While the parachute of Munje functioned properly, the parachute of Narah did not open and he fell to his death, said Singha. A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident, he said.

 

Both pilots had good experience in flying fighter aircraft and hence the exact reason behind the crash would be known only after getting the inquiry report, he said. According to sources, the aircraft, which crashed in an agricultural field in Punma Ram Jat Ki Dhani at Hariyasar village, broke into smithereens. The plane caught fire after touching the ground and exploded in a huge ball of fire, they said.

 

As news of the crash spread, hundreds of people rushed to the spot. Villagers, who brought in a water tanker, tried to put out the fire. India at present operates 60 of these air superiority, 4.5 generation fighters in three of its 33.5 squadrons. While 20 Squadron ‘Lightinings’ and 30 Squadron ‘Rhinos’ are based in Pune, the 24 Squadron ‘Hawks’ are located in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.

 

Being the most potent aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, the Sukhoi-30 has been fielded by the IAF in most of its bilateral and multi-lateral air exercises with foreign air forces. The aircraft had made a mark and had gained a reputation for itself while participating in the prestigious ‘Red Flag’ air exercise of the NATO in Nellis air base of the US Air Force in the later part of 2008.

 

India has placed a fresh order for 40 more Sukhois with Russia in the wake of the then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi writing to the government in 2006 on the depleting strength of the IAF.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/P...how/4466809.cms

Edited by ghostrider883

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The aircraft belonged to No.30 Sqdn "Rhinos". The sqdn was undergoing its annual DASI inspection. It was a part of a four aircraft formation which was underway at 20,000 feet when suddenly the aircraft started oscillating wildly and the a/c went into an uncontrollable spin pointing to some structural failure.

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The aircraft belonged to No.30 Sqdn "Rhinos". The sqdn was undergoing its annual DASI(Directorate of Air Staff Inspection) and Wg Cdr Narah was the inspector. The ill fated Su was a part of a four aircraft formation which was flying at 20,000 feet when suddenly the aircraft started oscillating wildly and the a/c went into an uncontrollable spin pointing to some structural failure.

 

I swear by our dear dog, Ma, I am safe: officer on crashed Sukhoi

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Does the Su-30 use the same ejection seats as the MiG-29s? Parachute failure is a pretty serious issue.

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Does the Su-30 use the same ejection seats as the MiG-29s? Parachute failure is a pretty serious issue.

 

yeah , the same K-36DM ejection seats.

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Sounds more like the FBW going tits up-those airplanes are too new to be having structural failures.

And this is tragic example of why Russian equipment costs a fraction of their western counterparts.

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Well, let's not be too hasty to determine cause of the crash. Like any other investigation, it will take time to sort the relevant facts from the suppositions.

 

RIP to the pilot and prayers for the family.

 

FC

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Possible cause of the crash:

 

IAF taking steps to prevent another SU-30MKI crash

 

Aircraft needs to be better covered to prevent heat soak due to exposure to sun

 

There are calls for design change including wire-locking the switches in cockpit

 

The Indian Air Force is initiating steps aimed at preventing another SU-30MKI crash like the one that occurred near Jaisalmer in April during a routine air exercise, killing the co-pilot and destroying a Rs. 200-crore fighter aircraft.

 

Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Defence told The Hindu that a joint probe by Indian and Russian Defence and flight engineers zeroed-in on the causes for the crash and suggested remedial action.

 

While one step will involve better covering of the aircraft when they are parked on the tarmac under to prevent heat soak, the other calls for design change, including wire-locking the switches in the cockpit that control power supply to the aircraft’s flight control computer.

 

The crash of the long range, high endurance SU-30MKI, the Indian Air Force’s most modern and lethal fighter, sent both the IAF and the aircraft designers, Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau, into a tizzy given the fighter’s exceptional and unrivalled flight safety record. The crash also forced the IAF to ground its entire Sukhoi fleet temporarily, compromising the country’s airpower.

 

The Court of Inquiry (CoI) that went into the crash found that the pilot, Wing Commander S. V. Munje, inadvertently switched-off the four switches that control the power supply to the computer. Switching-off the power not only cuts off the power supply to the computer, but is also irreversible. Switching them on does not ‘power on’ the all important unit.

 

The aircraft went into a forward bunt, lost control and crashed, killing Wing Commander P. S. Nara, an officer from the IAF’s Directorate of Air Staff Inspection (DASI).

 

During the flight, the aircraft is said to have experienced a technical glitch after a round of firing practice. The pilot, who was also under routine inspection by the DASI, is said to have then tried to switch-off the armament master switches, which are located just behind the pilot’s seat and in close proximity to the switches that control power to the flight control computer.

 

Though the CoI’s conclusion was that the crash occurred due to pilot error, a number of officials are questioning the placing of critical switches that are not to be used during in flight and only for power on when the aircraft is on theground in the cockpit and also, the inadequate in-built safety mechanisms like a wire lock or even a covering flap.

 

Said a former SU-30MKI pilot: “It is unpardonable and a poor design to have such critical switches, which are not to be used by the pilot in such an accessible manner. The Air Force should insist on design changes.”

 

The probe also revealed that the ejection seat’s harness had broken, leading to the death of Wing Commander Nara.

 

The reason for the breaking is being attributed to material failure of the harness due to exposure to the sun. The IAF has taken steps to have the aircraft more adequately covered.

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