Friday, October 23, 2009

MiG-27 crashes, ninth IAF mishap in '09




It's turning out to be one of the worst years for IAF in terms of aircraft crashes in recent times. In the ninth mishap this year, a MiG-27 `medium strike' fighter jet went down near New Jalpaiguri, about 16 km west of the Hashimara airbase in West Bengal, on Friday afternoon.

The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gautam, fortunately, managed to eject safely before the jet crashed in a tea garden at about 1.10 pm. "He was on a routine training sortie when the mishap took place. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the reason for the crash," said an official.

This is the second `swing wing' MiG-27 to crash this year. Incidentally, the over 100 MiG-27MLs in IAF combat fleet were hardly flown in 2005-2006 after it was found that their R-29 engines were causing a large number of accidents. With the MiG-27 fleet undergoing an upgrade since then, IAF actually plans to operate these fighters well into the next decade, even though they are ageing, because they constitute an important element of its strike fleet.


The number of IAF fighter squadrons is down to just 32-33 from the `authorised strength' of 39.5 squadrons. IAF will achieve its desired squadron strength of 42 only after 2020. From 1971-72 to 2003-04, IAF's consolidated average rate stood at 1.09 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, roughly translating into the loss of 23 aircraft and the death of 10-14 pilots every year.

The crash rate did come down dramatically to around 0.27 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, with an over 50% reduction in crashes after 2003-04. But the number of crashes seems to be going up once again now. The aging MiG variants, which constitute the bulk of India's combat fleet, have been the main culprits. The `highly-demanding' MiG-21s, in particular, have a horrifying track-record.

Of the 793 single-engined MiG-21s inducted into IAF since 1963, well over 330 have been lost in accidents. The problem has been compounded by shoddy maintenance, poor quality control of spares and inadequate training to rookie pilots.

9 comments:

Has IAF declared war on india.lol

Poor Maintenance(for mig series) need to review maintenance contract /spares quality .

Alas, 'I am undone'.That sentence I read when I was in school did not know its meaning properly but now I have come to know .That's,probably' what Flt Lt Gautam said to himself and to its colleagues after ejecting out the 'flying coffins'. He cannot do better than that 'crashing a fighter jet'. That's what IAF is famous in the world. Poor quality training, shaky and faulty Russian technology and the ,most impotantly ,it is flying by IAF piolots. The blend of everything makes a jet to ashes.
Keep crashing Russian technology that's what you can do better Bharat Vayusena.

Qamar Zia Ahmad
Lahore.

@Qamar...Pls keep your opinion to yourself...pls worry about your own air force,seriously who asked u to comment on how good/bad is IAF?Not that your expert opinion matters anyway..

Just 9 mishaps in 10 months. This is actually a good year.

http://www.warbirds.in/Crashes/count.php

all of you please maintain decorum while posting comments.

To, QAMAR,
first see about u r country position, may be in some years Taliban may fly your jet fighters to bomb the peoples. JF-17 has russian engine , so i think according to u , PAK has junk engine in JF-17.

Just about every country's air force had planes crash one too many times.Even we Americans had the F-104 Starfighter dubbed the "widowmaker" by it's U.S. pilots,But as the F-104 was exported to the NATO countries in the 60's and 70',(for many NATO countries it was their first Mach 2 fighter)Germany in particular "tamed" it by improving on the design (more tail and rudder surface,a larger dorsal fin and better avionics.The Germans shared these improvements with the other NATO allies and Japan and the 104 went on to serve in NATO for another 20 yrs with far fewer crashes.So even the (flying coffins)Mig-21s can be improved by India if needed.

Just about every country's air force had planes crash one too many times.Even we Americans had the F-104 Starfighter dubbed the "widowmaker" by it's U.S. pilots,But as the F-104 was exported to the NATO countries in the 60's and 70',(for many NATO countries it was their first Mach 2 fighter)Germany in particular "tamed" it by improving on the design (more tail and rudder surface,a larger dorsal fin and better avionics.The Germans shared these improvements with the other NATO allies and Japan and the 104 went on to serve in NATO for another 20 yrs with far fewer crashes.So even the (flying coffins)Mig-21s can be improved by India if needed.

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