IAF pilot killed in Sukhoi jet crash cremated in Assam

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: Jun 01, 2017 23:29 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Tezpur (Assam)
Sukhoi jet crash,D Pankaj,IAF pilots killed
The Sukhoi 30 plane with two pilots on board went missing after taking off from Salonibari air force station in Assam on May 23.(PTI Photo)

The mortal remains of Squadron leader D Pankaj, one of the two pilots in the Sukhoi jet that had crashed on May 23, was cremated in Tezpur on Thursday.

The body of Flight Lieutenant S Achudev, who was the other pilot killed in the crash, were sent to his native place in Kerala, a defence spokesman said.

With IAF officials paying their last respects to the two pilots at the Tezpur Air Force base in Salonibari, Squadron Leader Pankaj’s mortal remains were cremated at Parua under Tezpur police station, defence spokesman Lt Col Sombit Ghosh told PTI.

The family - his parents, younger brother, wife Richa and two-year-old daughter - were present at the Air Force base, he said.

IAF officials handed over Pankaj’s official documents wrapped in the national Tricolour to his wife, he said.

Pankaj’s younger brother performed the last rites in the presence of IAF and Army officials.

Air Officer Commanding of Tezpur station, KVR Raju and General Officer Commanding of 4 Corps, Brig Samantray paid their last respects.

Sonitpur district administration and Journalist Union also paid their tribute to the two pilots.

Flight Lt S Achudev’s body was sent to Thiruvananthapuram where the Kerala chief minister is scheduled to pay his last respects tomorrow before it is taken to his native place Calicut, Ghosh said.

Talking to the media, AOC Raju said the black box of the crashed Sukhoi-30 has been sent for examination to find out why both the pilot were unable to eject to safety.

Mortal remains of the two pilots of the crashed Sukhoi-30 were recovered on Wednesday from the crash site in dense forest area on hills in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh eight days after it had gone missing on May 23 when the aircraft crashed approximately 60 km from Tezpur Airbase after taking off from there on a routine training mission.

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 23:28 IST