Air crashes do not take place due to inexperience of pilots, minister of state for defence MM Pallam Raju said, noting that most of planes lost were MiGs which were ageing rapidly and have maintenance issues.
"It is not inexperience of pilots," he told reporters here on being asked to comment on Air chief N A K Browne's recent statement that inexperience of pilots was the main reason behind the increasing number of crashes in the IAF.
"I think sometimes he (Browne) wants more experienced pilots to fly them (MiG series fighter planes) due to their experience in handling older aircraft," he said.
"If you look at the kind of aircraft we are losing, its primarily the MiGs. Most of our squadrons of MiGs are ageing rapidly and maintenance is becoming an issue," Raju said.
During the last three years, 30 fighter aircraft and 10 helicopters of IAF have crashed of which 16 are MiG-21s.
Browne had recently said MiG crashes had taken place because of the inexperience of pilots.
"Unfortunately except for one case, other cases point towards inexperience of young pilots who were not been able to handle the landing and approach (of the aircraft)," he had said.
26 defence personnel including 13 pilots have lost their lives in 40 crash incidents. In addition, six civilians have also lost their lives.