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IAF Jaguar crashes, pilot killed
May 11, 2005 18:43 IST
A Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Wednesday crashed in Khalilabad village near Gorakhpur air base minutes after take off, killing the pilot, Flight Lieutenant A Singh, and injuring three women on the ground.
The co-pilot was reported missing.
The aircraft, on a low-level tactical flying mission, crashed at 0820 IST near Devri village in Basti district, an IAF spokesman said in Delhi.
The spokesman claimed there was no loss of life on ground. Local police reported that three women on ground had suffered minor injuries.
The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to find out the cause of the accident, which comes three years after an expert team from Rolls Royce, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Directorate of Quality Assurance had cleared the aircraft for flying, following reports of engine snags.
The team, according to IAF sources, undertook an aircraft-by aircraft check of the two Jaguar squadrons, when some of the planes powered by Rolls Royce's Adour engines reported low thrust.
"The team had suggested some remedial measures, which had since been implemented and as a result, the problem of low thrust had reduced considerably," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament.
The government ordered an experts study of the Jaguars, after two fighter planes collided in mid-air in stormy weather conditions while carrying out air combat manoeuvres over the Kashmir valley and another fighter crashed over a populated area near Ambala.
HAL and Defence Avionics Research Establishment have been carrying out upgradation of the fighters, which were inducted into the IAF in the late 70s.
The upgradation involves improving the navigation and weapon aiming capabilities of the aircraft.
This is the fourth crash involving an IAF aircraft this year.
Two Mig-21 fighters crashed near Nal airbase in Bikaner earlier this year, followed by an HPT trainer aircraft mishap near Hyderabad.