Monday, November 5, 2012

Defense Minister wants accidents inquiries speeded- Pilatus training to start in 2013

Neelam Mathews
Nov 5, 2012
Defense Minister A.K Antony has told a consultative committee that included the IAF to complete all pending Court of Inquiry proceedings into air accidents especially for category-I aircraft accident as early as possible.
Category-I accidents are those in which the aircraft is destroyed, damaged beyond economical repair, missing or if the cost of repair, excluding damage to aero-engines, exceeds 50% of the total cost. 
Antony said an inspection of helicopters detachments was carried as there was “an unusually high number of accidents and incidents on helicopters,”, while operating away from their parent base.  The inspections resulted in highlighting several shortcomings for which “action is being taken on these shortcomings on a priority basis.”
Training standards of the younger fighter aircrew, is a focus, said Antony. The basic flying training is being shifted from HPT-32 to Kiran aircraft.  “To make up for the deficiencies of training resources, the availability of Kiran aircraft is being enhanced to strengthen the foundation training of ab-initio pilots.  Maximum availability of simulators is being ensured during training.  Procurement of 75 Basic Trainer Aircraft has been fast-tracked and the first training course on the new trainer aircraft ‘Pilatus’ will start in July 2013.
Antony said plans to phase out equipment approaching redundancy are also in place and certain critical procurements have been fast-tracked.  Non-upgraded MiG-27 and MiG-21 are being phased out progressively by March 2016 and March 2018 respectively.
Responding to a query on shortage of spare parts for the aging aircraft fleet of Indian Air Force, Antony said new contracts would look at building product into the acquisition of new aircraft. 

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