November 28, 2023

Sukhoi and Mirage planes crash during a training operation, killing the wing commander

Sukhoi and Mirage planes crash during a training operation

Sukhoi and Mirage planes crash during a training operation, killing the wing commander, in Morena district on Saturday. 

Sukhoi and Mirage planes crash during a training operation

Two Indian air force fighter plane crash, that took off from the Gwalior Air Base  independently on Saturday morning in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, and Morena, Madhya Pradesh, killing one pilot.

What source say?

According to sources, there is a chance of a mid-air collision between the Mirage 2000 and the Sukhoi 30 (Su-30 MKI), provided that the two aircraft collapsed at the same time, not far apart, although there has been no official confirmation of this. According to the IAF, a court of inquiry will determine the precise cause.

Hanumanth Rao Sarathi, a Wing Commander, was the name of the deceased pilot. He was in the Mirage 2000 aircraft that went down near Morena. The two pilots of the Su-30 MKI that crashed near Bharatpur were able to safely evacuate from the aircraft.

What IAF commander stated?

“Today morning, two IAF plane crash close to Gwalior. According to a statement from the IAF, the aircraft was on a routine operational flying training flight. “One of the three engaged pilots was fatally injured.”

According to an IAF officer, the investigation will determine the precise reason for the mishap and shed additional light on whether the two aircraft collided in midair and why, if that was the case. 

Such mishaps may be caused by a variety of things, such as bird strikes or even one aircraft malfunctioning and colliding with another. “It’s preferable to wait for the Court of Inquiry report to find out why,” the officer said.

What other IAF sources said?

According to IAF sources, the pilots were from the Gwalior-based Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) and flew the mission as a requirement for the fighter combat commander course, which is a demanding and sophisticated aerial combat training programme for IAF pilots from all streams.

The TACDE, which was founded in 1971, is the top facility for training IAF “Top Guns” in air warfare.

Aircraft wreckage discovered in Bharatpur

According to sources, 36-year-old Wing Commander Sarathi was a member of the TACDE’s directing staff while the Sukhoi pilots were enrolled in the fighter combat commander course. The mission for training was required for the course.

Ankit Asthana, the district collector for Morena, told PTI that some of the debris from both aircraft fell in the Bharatpur area, which borders Madhya Pradesh, and some fell in the Pahargarh portion of the district.

Eyewitnesses were also cited in the PTI story as stating they heard an audible noise, saw fireballs dropping to the ground, and then witnessed two people in uniform parachute into a nearby bush. According to the eyewitnesses, the two men were rescued and afterwards flown to Gwalior for medical attention by an IAF chopper.

According to a Rajasthani official, “The Sukhoi flew until it lost altitude and crashed in Bharatpur.” There were no fatalities in the nearby surroundings, according to Shyam Singh, superintendent of police in Bharatpur. The plane crashed in a field close to the village.

About wing commander Sarathi 

Wing Commander Sarathi, who perished in the collision, was from Belagavi in Karnataka. He has a wife and two little children, ages 3 and 1. His older brother Praveen Sarathi is a Group Captain in the IAF, while his father Revanna Siddappa Sarathi retired as an honorary captain.

According to sources, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation, and he was closely watching the developments.

About Mirage 2000 and Su-30 MKI

Mirage 2000

The Mirage 2000 is a French multipurpose, single-engine fourth generation fighter jet made by Dassault Aviation. India has a fleet of 50 Mirage 2000s, which were purchased for strategic missions in several batches beginning in 1985 and have a strong safety record. The squadrons of the Mirage 2000 are based in Gwalior.

According to published data, the aircraft has been involved in five Indian air force fighter plane crash since 2010, the most recent of which occurred in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district in October 2021. A modified Mirage 2000 aircraft crashed in Bengaluru in 2019 shortly after takeoff, killing both of its pilots.

Su-30 MKI

The Su-30 MKI is a twin-engine multirole air superiority fighter developed by Russia and manufactured under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The IAF now has roughly 260 of these frontline aircraft and is pushing on with a long-delayed upgrade programme that will include equipping them with new armaments, avionics, and sensors in order to extend their shelf life by decades. Since 2010, there have been about 10 Su-30 crashes.

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