IAF lost 40 planes, 16 pilots since 2008

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Indian Air Force (IAF) lost 40 planes and 16 of its pilots in air crashes in the past three years, the Rajya Sabha was told Wednesday.

“During the last three years, from Feb 1, 2008, to Feb 17, 2011, 40 accidents of IAF aircrafts have taken place. In these accidents, 16 pilots, 24 service personnel and five civilians have lost their lives,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in a written reply to the upper house during question hour.

Antony said every IAF aircraft accident was thoroughly investigated by a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause and remedial measures were taken accordingly to check their recurrence.

Apart from this, the IAF had taken various measures relating to strengthening the aviation safety organisation, streamlining of accident and incident reporting procedure, analytical studies and quality audits of the aircraft fleets to identify vulnerable areas and institute remedial measures to reduce aircraft accidents, he said.

“Visit of all flying bases by senior aerospace safety functionaries of the IAF is undertaken to enhance aviation safety. Measures like Operational Risk Management and Crew Resource Management have been implemented to generate a safe flying culture,” he added.

He said the accident prevention programmes had given an added thrust to identify risk-prone and hazardous areas specific to the aircraft fleets and operational environment to ensure safe practices and procedures.

To another question, he said that in 2010, the IAF reported 12 air crashes and in these five pilots, 11 armed forces personnel and four civilians were killed.

From Jan 1 to Feb 18 this year, there was one air crash, but no pilot, service personnel or civilian was killed, he added.

A MiG-21 fighter jet had crashed Feb 4 this year, 140 km off Gwalior airfield while enroute to Jamnagar. No casualty was reported in the accident.

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