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HomeDEFENCEIs human error really the main cause behind IAF plane crashes?

Is human error really the main cause behind IAF plane crashes?

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Sukhoi Su-30s twin-engined aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30s twin-engined aircraft

May 27, 2014: An Indian Air Force MIG 21 fighter plane crashed in an open field near Bijbihara, area of Anantnag district 45 Km from Srinagar. The pilot, Sqdn Leader Raghuvanshi, 32, was killed in the crash. A resident of Surat, he had married four years ago

March 28, 2014:   IAF’s US-made  C-130J Super Hercules heavy-lift cargo aircraft routine training mission crashed 115 kms west of Gwalior killing all five persons on board. The six military transport aircrafts had just been inducted in the air force at a cost of 6,000 crores one year
ago. In the past 15 decade this was the third crash of a C-130J cargo aircraft capable of very short take-off and landing on unpaved surfaces.

September 20, 2014 An Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft with 11 people on board caught fire as it crash-landed near Chandigarh airport.

October 22, 2014: 200 odd Sukhoi Su-30s twin-engined aircrafts –almost one third of India’s fighter fleet– were grounded after a crash near Pune. Preliminary investigation revealed that the Sukhoi-30 MKI crash near Pune was due to a technical hitch and not due to human error.

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This was a big blow to the IAF which has 34 operational combat squadrons, against an authorized strength of 44 squadrons of 18 fighter planes each.

MiG-21 combat aircraft
MiG-21 combat aircraft better known as “flying coffin” or “widow-maker”

The SU 30 MKI and Russian-made MiG-21 fighters – also known as flying coffins are the cause of IAF’s worst nightmares. Five SU 30 MKIs have crashed in a gap of six years and the fleet has been grounded twice earlier

Significantly the government of India lost due to Rs.574.42 crore in terms of value of aircraft and service property during the last three years.

This is as per the information provided by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Ramdas Athawalein MP Rajya Sabha.

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According to Parrikar the main reason behind most IAF accidents is human error and technical defect. Every IAF aircraft accident is thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of accident and the recommendations of the completed Court of Inquiry are implemented.


No. of aircraft crashed
2012-13 06
2013-14 06
2014-15 08
2015-16 (upto 23.4.2015)


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Neeraj Mahajan
Neeraj Mahajanhttps://n2erajmahajan.wordpress.com/
Neeraj Mahajan is a hard-core, creative and dynamic media professional with over 35 years of proven competence and 360 degree experience in print, electronic, web and mobile journalism. He is an eminent investigative journalist, out of the box thinker, and a hard-core reporter who is always hungry for facts. Neeraj has worked in all kinds of daily/weekly/broadsheet/tabloid newspapers, magazines and television channels like Star TV, BBC, Patriot, Sunday Observer, Sunday Mail, Network Magazine, Verdict, and Gfiles Magazine.


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