Tuesday, February 19, 2013

IAF Su-30 MKI Crashes, Pilots Safe

FILE PHOTO / VAYU SHAKTI 2010
IAF Statement: "One Su-30 aircraft of the IAF crashed at Pokhran Range on 19 Feb 2013 at about 1920h. The aircraft was on a night flying training mission. Both the pilots ejected safely. There is no reported damage to any civil property or life on ground. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the accident."

This was the fourth crash of an IAF Su-30 MKI. The previous three were on 13 Dec 2011, November 2009 and 30 April 2009.

42 comments :

Unknown said...

Sad. Atleast the pilots are safe. That brings some relief.

Anonymous said...

are they testing pilot ejection system

shrikant bhartiya said...

this is the saddest news for me..pray that our frontline fighter does not find the fate of mig 21 the flying coffins

Anonymous said...

thnk god they r safe.......

Anonymous said...

what the fuck is this? if su-30MKI was crashed than i think it will be great concern for our air force. Because this is now our main combat aircraft. we can understand the crashes of old Mig-21 jets...but what about this...dont know

Aman said...

If pilots ejected safely that means it's more likely some failure in the plane and not a pilot error. I would hate seeing Sukhoi fleet grounded again

Anonymous said...

Pilots punch out too quickly?

prabala said...


Anonymous said...

Do we know whether this was a HAL built Sukhoi or one that was directly procured from United Aircraft Corp ?
Russian designs have always been less reliable but HAL's hand makes it worse !

Mr. RA said...

If it is not due to design or malfunction then the extensive use of Tejas-Mk1 as LIFT can avoid such mishaps.

Anonymous said...

The "cause" of the crash needs to be ascertained as clearly as possible. Is it a design/manufacturing problem, is it a maintenance problem, is it pilot error, etc. These questions are important especially when we talk about the Su-30MKI because that is the backbone of our air force.

Better to have crashed in an "exercise" and learn from it than crash in combat and have pilots behind enemy lines.

Guru said...

Even if we do not get into the Mig-21, which is not an easy plane to fly (Btw, we have managed to crash nearly 50% of the Mig-21
s we had initially bought/produced, a record no one can currently match-not even the African countries) We have also managed to crash aircraft which have safer records with other air forces.

In fact, many would be surprised, we have an accident rate for the Sea Harriers which is three times more than the closest accident rate for the next highest air force operator (UK). We have crashed 19 of the 30 we bought in approximately 22 years.

Similarly, for the Mirage 2000, widely regarded as a very safe aircraft, comparing with Taiwan, which also has a 60 strong fleet bought around the same time as India,we have a 2.5X crash rate. (they have crashed 4 Mirages in 20+ years, we have crashed 10).

Mirage 2000 ( 10 crashes/59 originally bought)
Harrier Jet ( 19 crashed/30 bought)
Mig 29 ( 11 crashes/78 bought)

Indian Air Force has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest crash rate for nearly all the aircraft they operate in the world compared to other operators in the world.

Will be interesting to read the Air force's take on why it is so high?

But given the fact that i have never read an article ever on this fact, i tend to think it is a case of hiding their dirty laundry.

Your thoughts, Shiv?

Guru

Anonymous said...

u r damn right bro.we have to upgrade our SSB standard otherwise incident of crash or things what hapnd in naxalite area by fleeing out frm site abandoning a chopper wud become a routine affair

Anonymous said...

Crash Force. #1 in crashing. Thank god pilots are safe. Now crash the remainig onez. We will buy more.

Abhishek said...

hey even F22's have crashed and given the strenuous training doctrine of the Indian Air Force there is no doubt that during extreme traing sessions chances for a crash exist

rustom said...

Was it HAL built?

Anonymous said...

Is this the beginning of the crashes.

sents said...

This is the best and the most modern aircraft in the IAF and it is crashing regularly, what happened? Very curious about the reason for the crash. Sad news.

Anonymous said...

Er, everybody, planes crash. Get over it. The only thing that matters is the accident rate per 100,000 flying hours. And we do not have that information for the Su-30MKI.

Anonymous said...

this was a sukhoi manufactured by hal in phase-1 assembly...

Anonymous said...

4 crashes is not too bad considering the size of the fleet and the fact they have been in service for over a decade.

N K AIYAPPA said...

Guys you are all right in your own sense. I also shared your thought process before, when MIG 21 used to crash at a steady rate.

FEW things came to my notice, that have changed my mindset.

1. We may have More than 800 combat aircraft, at any given point of time only 1\3 is available. Due to overhauls, repairs, lack of spares.

2. India has bulk of soviet aircrafts, but we train to western standards during peacetime. I have read in various journals that IAF trains very extensively during peace time clocking more than 200hrs per pilot per year.

3. Lot of air-forces never achieve this rate, even Russians have 50-60 hrs per pilot per year. AT this rate Indian aircraft suffer more wear and tear.

4. We do not have industrial base for preventive maintenance, Since Su-30 MKI is a evolving platform and its a front line aircraft which will take lot of stress from combat air patrol as well as routine sorties.

As one of the air marshals had quoted in the media, "he would like to lose aircraft and pilots while training hard rather than losing them in air combat in a war.
Where the rate would be very high.

as the famous saying goes"more you sweat in peace, less you bleed in war".

Su 30 MKI will become the back-bone of IAF soon taking over the role from MIG 21. SO lot of doctrines with the aircraft has to be evolved. Training wastage in terms of aircrft loss has to be allowed.

With every crash we learn a lot about a aircrft, its positives and negatives, dos and don't's. its a lifelong learning process.


That said both the aircraft and the pilot are irreplaceable.

Of late if you guys have observed the number of Training Exercise's involving front line aircraft's have increased many fold's.

Anonymous said...

Another Flying coffin from Russian for IAF.

RIP TO Su-30MKI

Anonymous said...

@guru... 8:03 AM...
its nothing but... the culture... bribe taking... betrayal by leaking of docs... spurious spare parts... spurious training... favourtism... watering down of ASRs for foreign firms... not indian products... scooting from primary roles... like 1962... incompetency... ... ...

Anonymous said...

Hurray! Our Airforce is Crashing expert, just as our politicians are Scaming expert. What a recipe for disaster, one approves purchases with well oiled palms and other crashes it at regular intervals.

rustom said...

@ NK AIYAPPA

You brought out the MIG 21 issue.....
One of The main reason for Mig 21 Crashing was that the fighter a/c was used as a trainer as DRDO and HAL ussurped the money that was meant for buying a trainer, its own make having major issues.Thus when the MIG 21 was used as a trainer which it is not, the accident rate went up. Ironically the IAF got a bad name the a/c got a bad name but the culprits that is DRDO and HAL who cheated India and are responsible for the killings of rookie pilots have gone scot free behind the curtain.

And that is why we have un informed, totally detached indian civilian class like the above 3 by anonymous that state things like russian flying coffin etc

Anonymous said...

Ah freedom of speech is great it is very enlightening to read comments from Indians and outside but one must realise that our equipment is ageing fast we must upgrade them fast in this particular case the pilots were practicing some stunt for a show and error of some kind must have taken place which should be taken as a lesson and short comings rectified our air force is good but that helicopter incident must be condoned but what can we Indians do we are not allowed to shed blood during religious ceremonies/sacrifices when will we see first blood during battle some training must be imparted to make ruthless and change our ethos of non violence and sir (blogger)why have you introduced this Captcha (authentication)again it is an impediment in commenting easily you must be open to everyone's comments good ,bad or dirty

Anonymous said...

Nice to know the pilot is fine.The more one bleeds during training the less, one bleeds during war.Having said that, its very important for the experts to look into the details of the crash, so if theirs are technical problem, it could be avoided.Yes, crashes are like to occur during extensive training , especially when, training/flying hours, per year are longer for the IAF, compared to many countries..Reading comments , one could easily conclude that even a child could easily criticize the IAF sitting in his/her comfort zone than actually go out there to protect the nation, like a real man.Slightly disagree with the comment, above.Good that the comments are monitered, to a certain extend than we have to read all trash and immature comments.

Anonymous said...

Just a note:

Su-30MKI has been in service since the 90's and with 4 crashs, it gives it a good indication that it isn't that bad of an aircraft. Especially with over 100 in service (with more on order). The other issue is that it was not designed to work specifically with foreign components but it is insisted by India to use French and Israeli avionics, so issues can arise (hence the FBW issue in the past). And calling these aircrafts the next MiG-21 flying coffin is a little extreme, as the F-18S/H has had quite a few crashes, F-16, F-15 and even the F-22 recently.

The more you fly the jet, the more likely it will crash.

soorya narayan said...

I think all these crashes happen due to presence of "Kill Switches" in the complex electronic systems of Indian Planes most probably planted by China ,Pakistan or USA . Read these links for more info about "Kill Switches" in military hardware

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/the-hunt-for-the-kill-switch

http://www.economist.com/node/18527456

soorya narayan said...

I think all these crashes happen due to presence of "Kill Switches" in the complex electronic systems of Indian Planes most probably planted by China ,Pakistan or USA . Read these links for more info about "Kill Switches" in military hardware

http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/design/the-hunt-for-the-kill-switch

http://www.economist.com/node/18527456

Anonymous said...

What nonsense is this, whats happening with IAF. At this rate they will not leave even the incumbent Rafale. This did not make headline news in TOI. My god are the skills proper to fly the su 30 or blame it on the machine is the escape route. 2/3 rd of sea harrier fleet is lost to crashes. IAF will blame it on the depleting fighter squadrons.

Anonymous said...

Indians are just improving their crashing ration mig 21,27,29 mirage,harriers,rustom,saras ,dhruv

Anonymous said...

@Guru 8.03
We should not lose sight of the fact that military aviation is inherently dangerous.Aircraft undergo stresses and maneuvers that are extreme.
The IAF is an active air force and very few forces operate in the diversity of terrain,condition that the IAF does.
To fight a war,one has to train is a particular kind of way.
The apparent wonder of some guys here that a SU-30 MKI can crash is pretty hilarious.Every air craft has,the F-22 has,the B-2 has and so has almost every active aircraft in the world.
Let's not compare the IAF with weekend forces.
And neither should we unduly not worry the numbers.
The RAF had about 165 Jaguars and lost almost 70 of them to various incidents/crashes.
In 1982 they lost 8 in a single year.
The USAF has lost over 130 F15 till now.
You can visit http://www.ejection-history.org.uk for many such comparisons.
Lets not get carried away by crashes.The IAF is a commendable force that has actually won wars for India.
Very few air forces764 in teh world have such a distinction.
And to the Paki lurkers,the PAF lost 14 aircraft in 2012,so nothing to crow about here.

Anonymous said...

why not try out western manufacturers... I think they are much better compared to Russians when comes with developing weapons....

N K AIYAPPA said...

This is the history of Su- 30MKI . This should put all comments and doubts to rest.

1. Please check how pilots get saved in the famous airshow crash. This was the first MKI, That was built for india and shown to the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kk9UxB7eLE

2. Don't blame Russia for the equipment, we were the first country to operate SU-30MK after the fall of Soviet Union.
Russian air force couldn't afford these aircraft's.

3. Think of sea king choppers after Pokhran Nuclear Test. USA vetoed the spares from UK. SO NO CUTTING EDGE AIRCRAFT FROM SO CALL WEST.

4. MIG 21 was instrumental for the fall of "Dhaka". And instilling fear in our enemies In its hay days it was the Best. So will Be SU-30MKI today and in the future.

please watch this Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kk9UxB7eLE

This say's more than i can write here.


Anonymous said...

A lot of guys have commented on the crash 'rate' for the IAF. Crash rates cannot be simplistically decided depending on number of ac crashed/ number of aircraft operated. If you buy 1000 aircraft, and never fly them you won't ever lose a single one. Right? The internationally accepted measure is crashes/ 10,000 h of flying. So, please do read up a bit. As far as that is concerned, yes, the IAF WAS very high through the 80s, but has now come down to far lower levels. It must be kept in mind... that the IAF frequently has had to use equipment that it was given (such as every MiG series aircraft) for all roles, including for ones they were never designed for. Also, flying conditions in India are far more challenging in terms of ground infrastructure, weather conditions, availability of diversions and what have you. Fly in India, then fly in Europe/ USA and you will know what I mean. So question by all means my friends, but let it be informed and intelligent questioning, not just shots in the dark and irresponsible ones at that. Fly safe. Fight hard.

Anonymous said...

The last mki crash was due to failure of fbw control,the second last was due to not following the user mannual which mention that after this much flying hour pilot should not use THE THRUST VECTOR NOZZLE which creates pressure causing failure of turbofan and the very first was due to some switch which was not supposed to operate during flying.I CONCUR WITH RUSTOM SIR THAT THIS ALL IS THE FAILURE OF HAL/DRDO WHICH CAN NOT BUILT A TRAINING AIRCRAFT WHICH IS CASTING THE LIFE OF OUR AIR WARRIORS AND ALSO THERE ARE FEW HUMAN ERRORS.EVERY ONE OF YOU GET SHOKED HERE THAT OUR ROOKIE PILOTS AFTER GETTING BASICS FLY IN THE ACTUAL AC WHICH NO OTHER AIRFORCE ALLOW.DRDO SAYS WE WILL DESIGN AJT AND THEN GETS FUNDS AND AFTER 10 YEARS OR SO THE NEW FUND IS SANCTIONED.GOVT SHOULD DIVEST ALL ITS SHARE FROM HAL/DRDO.IF THEY DELIVER SOMETHING FRUITFULL AND THAT TOO WITHIN SPECIFIED TIME FRAME THEN THEY SHOULD GET FUNDS OR NOT.

Anonymous said...

Its time that IAF ground Staff and Pilot Crews check Su-30 Aircraft's thoroughly before going on a test flights or training missions as Russian planes are notoriously junk!

Anonymous said...

Wow - thankfully our pilots have better critical thinking capabilities than most of the commentators here...this post really got them out of woodworks.

Bashing the IAF and throwing out words that some idiot in the press started like a "flying coffin" does not make you sound smart...neither does watching a bad movie with a sub plot around the MiG-21 make you an expert on aircraft attrition. So, as commedable as it is that you know how to form sentences - shut up!

Apart from being a tough aircraft to fly and being used in roles it was not intended to, lack of a proper IJT contributed immensely to the crashes for the MiG 21.

As far as this crash - lets wait for what the investigation reveals and then make some informed commentary....jeez

Anonymous said...

This accident must have taken place while practicing for Exercise 'Iron Fist'. We can't afford to lose modern airplanes like SU-30MKI at this rate.
What is the wisdom of buying 16 additional Hawk trainers from UK (at a huge cost) solely for resurrecting the 'Surya Kiran' aerobatic display team, which has NO OPERATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE. Suryakiran is a 'formation aerobatics display team' meant only to showcase the piloting skills of its team members (select IAF pilots), who practice hard before every show. The indigenous IJT (Sitara)could have replaced the Kiran Mk-2 of the team after a couple of years, after being inducted into IAF in larger numbers and after proving their safety and reliability, just like the Kirans did in the Suryakiran team and Dhruv (ALH) did in the Sarang team. That would have also been good publicity for our homegrown IJTs (Sitara) for export purposes.

Anonymous said...

hi forum,
it quite heartening to see that lot may people are following the defence activities. Every body has the right to voice their opinion, but lot many opinion are misinformed. As an Indian, everybody like to voice their opinion and never bother to control the situation. Isn't it prudent to take a little step forwarded in your domain expertise for improvement rather a misinformed shot at some body's domain.
bye a lazy Indian trying to do some little improvements in India rather than blaming govt