*FLASH* Hawk crash caused by pilot error, Thrust malfunction

News just broke on Headlines Today: the team investigating the April 29 crash of a brand new Indian Air Force Hawk advanced jet trainer has apparently attributed the crash 90 per cent to pilot error. The remaining ten per cent has been attributed to questionable performance of the Hawk AJT's "regulated take-off" thrust setting. According to the investigation, the pilots were not supposed to have engaged regulated take-off for the training sortie (something the people at BAE Systems have also apparently testified to the inquiry team). At the same time, the report says that under no circumstances should the regulated take-off setting have resulted in an accident. A miscommunication over radio between the two pilots and between the pilots and ATC have also been suggested as a possible contributor to the accident.

So is BAE Systems vindicated by the report? Unlikely. According to sources, the report also slams BAE Systems on three counts: performance of the pilot-machine interface during take-off and survivability of the aircraft such as it is. It was not in the purview of the investigative team to go into the details of spares, though it is still open to investigation if there were technical faults involved as well. Also, according to some reports, BAE Systems has been mounting a highly unsavoury unofficial campaign by painting the IAF as a bunch of incompetent chaps who don't know how to handle new aircraft, or how frequently to use them.

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