Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Photos From Su-30 Crash Site Offer Big First Clues

First photographs by my alma mater The Indian Express from the site of the Su-30 MKI crash today show a largely intact fuselage and airframe, indicating that aircraft didn't just dive out of the sky (probably didn't get very high at all), that pilots likely ejected after an engine malfunction/flame-out, and that aircraft was level when it ploughed into the ground -- possibly even a controlled crash. Nothing else explains the structural integrity of the airframe. Note the deployed flaps and tail chute. Real pity. Thoughts and observations from experts highly welcome.

Photos / The Indian Express on Twitter

27 comments :

spook said...

note the deployed tail chute and full flaps extended. TVC also seems to have been engaged. My first guess was going to be bird strike but lack of apparent external engine damage and the previously reported single engine landings carried out due to engine failures doesn't fit the bill.

my guess is an accelerated stall similar to the infamous Paris crash but one where the pilot didn't pull up too far. we have to accept that pilot error does occur and i am glad that both of them managed to walk away, learn and live to fight another day.

On a lighter note, maybe this flanker can be spruced up and can join the fulcrum as a gate guardian.

Ram Bharadwaj said...

Crash happened on a ominous note. Just when you narrated the story of the last crash.
Heart breaking to see the mightly flanker crashed. Relieved to note that the pilots ejected.

ripper said...

apparent chain of events appears like this-

the vectors were deployed, engines flamed out due to starvation-- some low speed maneuver (the flaps)

thankfully the aircraft was brought in level flight in time

like spook and ram said shit happens be it pilot error or mechanical failure (or else you have to operate sukhois like the american f22s, away from the public and the world in total secrecy, god know what all mishaps might have happened with that toy).

I was just wondering why cant all these be performed over unpopulated areas. forests deserts seas....

new pilots are spending almost 1:6 time in the sim these days with the mirage 2000s... while its just 50- 50 time in the sim with the sukhoi. the top management who no longer fly but are busy with admin duties think two pilots in a plane make it crash free. that was the point of having a two seater sukhoi flanker, endurance and crew workload distribution is unviable.

they dont understand that these are split second decisions once botched up and even if you have 4 pilots in the cockpit nothing can be done. Most of the sorties are less than 2 hours... having two pilots in a fly by wire modern cockpit to reduce stress is point less.

also having such a large aircraft in large numbers ( hell! ~250 in order) for a country like india with miniscule defense budget for iaf's aircraft aspirations is idiotic.

idia doesnt need a aircraft to do 6+ hour endurance sortie.... we are not going to drop a bomb in africa, europe or americas or australia.... we have airbases across india...

we needed some 125 new mig 29s (like aircrafts) in air superiority role.. 75 random aircraft with ground attack capability... and maybe a 40 sukhois (10- 2-seaters for training and long missions).... what is important was high availability and fitness of armament and aircraft... ability to maintain and modify without OEM support


multirole fighter aircraft is a myth... no doubt MMRCA is going no where


americans offered F18... which it has started to replace for themselves.... the F-16s which they are already replacing. Mig 35 (its a high altitude aircraft ) which wasnt truly multirole. Gripen is note medium weight it is feather class!! Eurofighter is a aircraft whcih was in the sukhoi category.... and seroisly it didnt meet indias needs... they thought once india places the order they will start development... and they had a half hearted effort

And india can make n number of tejas like aircraft at the cost of 1 Rafael!! so india must start making aircrafts rapidly... maybe even copy paste like chinese.... and not afraid of failure like the skunkworks.... you can send unmanned space crafts to mars and moon ... but cant make a fighter jet? a jet engine? hell even a mig 21 clone would done...

Anonymous said...

Either engine flame out or a dead-stick among many other possible malfunctions. The fact that glide ratio of combat planes are rather low, the one piece crash suggests pilot is a well seasoned one.

The failure would have occurred at high altitude, giving some time to think and point the aircraft to an empty field. Flaps down, deployed chute explains ample amount of time. Surely, controlled glide and ejection in the final split second.

Anonymous said...

May be other countries are paying airmen's to do faulty service so that more west weapons can be sold.

Just like ISRO cryogenic engine development or Kaveri engine case

Dude you need to justify expensive defense purchase please go ahead do not kill pilots

any way MoD is ready to pay seperate for C17 and separate for blackbox reader also seperate for each rocket n bolts

May be firing each bulled also need NATO approval

Anonymous said...

If Indian Defence Forces can not be self relianec and self sufficient then what was wrong in being British Indian Army ?

Anonymous said...

PAF will eliminate IAF in any future war....

Anonymous said...

As I said in the last post....Sukhois are a mix of russian, european, israel, indian and american subsystems....you will see more of them crashing as they grow older....indias insistance on hybrid fighter will cost them dearly. Intrestingly india has crashed more of these aircrafts than other su-30 users.

Anonymous said...

If this one is HAL manufactured plane than the reasons are obvious.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this was due to malfunction of mission computers or the jet was flying in single engine as happening recently. Also may be the plane landed on soft mud so the structure was intact & fuel tanks didn't explode. IAF should order 5 more sukhoi's to make up the losses & maintain the fleet strength. A loss of aircraft changes the squadron tactics.

aBu said...

SHIV, I am feeling very SAD. The aircraft that used to make us pride, is going the same way as Mig21.
When is this going to stop... for god sake

Anonymous said...

The planes will now be grounded indefinitely and mig-29 and mirage-2000s will again be india's premier air superiority fighters

Anonymous said...

this is what happes when you put rightists in power

Anonymous said...

good to see sukhois getting busted.....too much hot air...hahaha PAF will bring down the rest.

amol said...

This is Modi's fault. He should resign immediately.

Anonymous said...

to that anonymous paki.. we are atleast bringing in news everything what is happening with our fighters ..what about your shit old PAF fighters which crashes terribly each and every then killing no of pilots..we atleast giving some citation to our pilots what the fuck you pakis are doing..hiding dead bodies of your pilots saying them lost?? Mig-21 & Mig-29 sufficient to fuck your big asshole PAF.

Anonymous said...

PAF has a far superior safety record than the IAF. That's a fact. During the 1990s, IAF was losing almost a squadron equivalent of aircraft a year.

Anonymous said...

india is afraid of pak and that is why they are crashing their planes to get new ones....haha fkuc you indians

Anonymous said...

Su-30 is a big 40 ton junk and indians have further messed up with DRDO weapons and systems....hhahaha.....good for pak and china. Even bangladesh will give india a tough time....

spook said...

attrition is going to high the more an air force practices to keep their skill level. The U.S.A.F looses as many planes.

Airforces like the PAF which lack the funds for spares / fuel and other costs have a better safety record simply due to the fact that they dont fly their aircraft as much, if at all.

Here is a fun fact.. PAF F-16 Squadrons have around 6 F-7s(Chinese Mig 21 knock off) on strength simply because they dont want to lose airframe time / attrition losses on their precious F-16s.

I dont think all iaf pilots are better than paf pilots or vice versa. if things had turned out a little diffrent all of them would still be under the same airforce.

But realistically consider what would happen if you pit the IAF vs the PAF?

the only paf fighters that even stand a remote fighting chance are the 18 F-16 Blk 52 fighters now armed with AMRAAMs.

all other f16 versions lack BVR missiles and are armed with the old AIM-9L version of the sidewinder, they wont even be allowed to get close to the hordes of MKIs , M2ks , Mig 29s that will descend on pakistan. even the MIG 21 Bison (which was manufactured in the late 80's and 90's and has decent airframe time left) is armed with a good enough radar and BVR missiles.

The antiquated Mirage 3 / 5 and F-7 all of which were manufactured in the 60's and 70's and all of which lack Missile approach warning systems or BVR missiles dont stand a chance.

The much talked about JF-17 is a decent aircraft on paper. but here is the kicker, it will only have BVR capability in the BLK 2 version. the 40 or 50 Blk 1 on order can only fight within a 5 km WVR radius.

You may ask about PAF airdefence SAM missiles, but they have very limited range <20km and are mainly situated around air bases. Considering the ease with which the other IAF (israel) keeps carrying out bombing missions deep inside iran and syria even before the current civil war, what makes you think that the IAF (india) which uses the same israeli jammers wont be able to do the same?

dont even get me started on the masses of conventional Ballistic and Cruise missiles that will rain down on pak military targets within the opening minutes of a full fledged war.

the situation is only going to get worse for the pakistan, without funds and without any allies to back them up and any friends who are willing to sell them major modern weapon systems (with the exception of china, and even they have started thinking twice due to the islamic terrorism within their country). Already the bulk of PAF is made up of 2nd hand mirages, f-16s and f-7s due to the original manufacturers not being willing to sell weapons to Pakistan and this situation is only going to get much worse.

:TLDR

to sum up the realistic and unbiased assessment above. even if the iaf goes significantly below the much whined about 34 combat squadrons , everyone outside Pakistan would be seriously shocked if the PAF even managed to get any birds of the ground much less actually make a combat kill.

aviation analysis wing said...

The picture shows the thrust vectoring nozzles were employed, if not by crash impact. If the landing gears have been deployed , i think it would have been a perfect unmanned landing.

Even though the crash rate is alarming, when compared with US Air Force equivalent- Boeing F-18, USAF lost five airframes this year.

Ram Bharadwaj said...

I just hope the NDA govt and Mr.Jaitley takes a serious view of the Su-30Mki crashes.
The tall claims of HAL of 100% indigenous Su-30 should be critically examined. Is Quality being compromised??? Is Al-31 engine having serious design issues?? Crashes on account of Technical failure is serious issue. Just when Adm.DK Joshi lamented about lack of powers with Chief's (his case of not getting batteries) now comes this case. Hope its not bureaucratic apathy. HAL has to be more accountable. Russians have to be made more accountable.

Anonymous said...

THE SUBSTANDARD , SLUM WORKING CULTURE OF HAL AND ITS ENGINE MANUFACTURING PLANTS , THE CHALTA HAI ATTTIDE AND POOR QUALITY OF MAINTENANCE , USE OF SPURIOUS SPARES NOT FROM OEMS BUT EASTERN EUROPEON COUNTRIES , ARMS AND SPARES DALALS POOR SIMULATOR TRAINING ARE THE BANE OF AIRFORCE . 360 DEGREES UPGRDATION OF STANDARDS OF EDUCATION , PHYSICAL , MENTAL EQ, IQ FOR RECRUITMENT OF OFFICERS AND WARRANT RANKS IS REQUIRED . core competencies , quality , expierance need sto be documented and preserved . THE INDUCTION OF NEW EQUIPMENT IN ALL THREE SERVICES SEES THE BEST OF OFFICERS AND RANKS SENT ABROAD FOR TRAINING BUT OVER A PERIOD OF TEN YEARS DUE TO PROMOTIONS TRANSFERS , RETIREMENTS THE QUALITY GETS DILUTED AND STANDARDS REDUCED ESPECIALLY AS AGING STARTS AND MORE EXPIERANCE AND DEDICATION WITH ORIGNAL SPARES IS REQUIRED . THE MANPOWER , TRAINING, RETENTION , RETIREMENT MAINTENACE , SPARES , PURCHASE PHILOSPHIES NEED TO BE UPGRADED AS OTHERWISE ACCIDENTS WILL KEEP TAKING PLACE .

Anonymous said...

The tail number of the aircraft is SB050. Its clearly not the HAL built one. Probably from the last tranche of the Russian supplies.

Akash said...

Ram Bharadwaj, guys like you with an inferiority complex are the bane of any serious analysis. This aircraft was from Russia, not HAL, so before the COI is out stop the blame game.

Anonymous said...

notice the top most photo in this blog post...

barely meters away to the right there is a aluminum shed .... What a close shave!!

I was wondering if any one saw it close up crashing.... it was clearly a inhabited area

Satish Chandra said...

Mother-Chod stupid Indians!And their Mother-Chod defence journalists working for the CIA. Saurav Jha works for the CIA. And so does the owner of this blog (I foget his name).