March 19, 2012
During the last three years (2008-09 to 2010-11) and current year 2011-12 (upto 13.3.2012) 33 fighter aircraft including 1 Jaguar, 2 Mirage-2000, 3 Sukhoi-30 and 27 MIG series aircraft (including 16 MIG-21 series) and 10 helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF) have crashed, AK Antony defense minister said in parliament today.
As a result, 26 defense personnel including 13 pilots and 6 civilians lost their lives.
“Majority of the above accidents were on account of Human Error (HE) and Technical Defect. Every IAF aircraft accident is thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of accident. Remedial measures are taken accordingly to check their recurrence in future.
“However, improvement of skills of pilots is a continuous process. Several steps have been taken by the Government in this regard. These include increased use of simulators to practice procedures and emergency actions, focused and realistic training with additional emphasis on the critical aspects of mission, introduction of Crew Resource Management and Operational Risk Management to enable safe mission launches, Aviation Psychology courses and introduction of Aerospace Safety capsules in the ab-initio training of aircrew,” said Antony.
Decision to phase out aircraft are taken based on various factors including residual life of the aircraft and operational considerations and is reviewed by the Government from time to time. This is a continuous process, he explained.