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MiG crashes due to pilots' inexperience: IAF Chief

IAF chief N A K Browne at Air Force day in Hindon (Ghaziabad). Photo: PTI

HINDON (PTI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday said most of the recent MiG-21 crashes have been caused due to inexperience of young pilots in handling the aircraft.

"Unfortunately except for one case, the other cases point towards inexperience of young pilots who were not been able to handle the landing and approach (of the aircraft)," IAF chief N A K Browne said here.

He was asked to comment on recent crashes of MiG-21 fighter aircraft this year including the one which crashed in Barmer district of Rajasthan on Friday.

Out of the six air crashes involving IAF planes this year, four belonged to the MiG-21 series. Of the total 976 MiG-21s inducted in the service since 1960s, over half of them have been lost in the crashes.

On training young pilots, Browne said, "The present batch is going to be the last course of pilots who would be flying the MiG-21s. We are not very happy about their going directly for the Stage-III training on the MiGs. But we actually have no alternative."

On training rookie pilots on Hawk Advance Jet Trainers (AJT), he said, "Presently we have only 52 of these (Hawks), and from 187th course all the pilots will be flying Hawks in their Stage-III training."

Referring to procurement of Basic Trainer Aircraft, Browne said the matter was before the Finance Ministry and expressed confidence that the contract to procure these aircraft will soon be signed with the Swiss firm Pilatus.

"The basic trainer aircraft is in the final stage (of procurement) and the case is with the Finance Ministry. I am extremely confident that by the end of this month ... we should be able to sign the contract with Pilatus," he said.

The last course of young pilots flying on MiG-21 as part of their Stage-III training will be over by December 2012.


IAF  MiG21  crash  Air Force Day  

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