Pilots of missing Sukhoi jet failed to eject before crash, died of injuries: IAF
Squadron leader D Pankaj and flight lieutenant S Achudev were killed on May 23, but the plane wreckage was located near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area only three days later.india Updated: May 31, 2017 22:28 IST
The pilots of a Sukhoi-30 aircraft died in a crash near Tezpur airbase last week because they were unable to initiate the ejection process, analysis of equipment recovered from the site has revealed.
Squadron leader D Pankaj and flight lieutenant S Achudev were killed on May 23, but the plane wreckage was located near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area only three days later.
Indian Air Force sources said the aircraft went off the radar at 11.10 am, about 40 minutes after it took wing from the Tezpur airbase. The pilots were on a routine training mission as part of a two-aircraft formation.
A search-and-rescue operation was launched when the aircraft failed to return. Help was sought from both civil and military authorities, and an aerial search based on the last-known position of the aircraft was undertaken. The operation was reportedly hampered by incessant rain, dense clouds and difficult terrain.
The search teams also found a blood-stained shoe, a half-burnt PAN card and a wallet at the crash site, located in a dense forest. A court of inquiry has been ordered to probe the cause of the accident.