“The Flight Control System and the Ejection System. There was a failure of two systems,” he said, adding the Court of Inquiry into the accident was underway.
“The Court of Inquiry is awaiting the analysis of the crash data recorder, which is a chip that has to be analyzed. We have sent it to the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for analysis. Until then we cannot conclusively say as to what caused the crash.”
The air crash took place near Jodhpur on April 30 and subsequently, while the IAF refused to consider the fleet grounded, no flight of the aircraft took place until last Thursday. IAF sources told StratPost, “It was a ferrying mission. The aircraft had to go from Point A to Point B. All precautions and checks were taken and the aircraft was deemed ready to fly.” A team of 25 from the Russian aircraft manufacturer have been in India, assisting with the investigation of the crash.
Wing Commander PS Nara in the rear seat, who was an inspector from the Directorate of Air Safety Inspections (DASI), was killed after the pilots ejected from the aircraft, which had taken off from the IAF base in Lohegaon, Pune. The IAF operates some 55 of these aircraft. Recently, the IAF had raised a fourth squadron of the aircraft, the 8th Squadron, known as the ‘Hot Pursuits’.
Two other IAF fighter aircraft, a MiG-27 and a MiG-21 Bis have also crashed in the same area since the Sukhoi crash. Both pilots managed to survive.