The crash of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft on April 30 was caused by pilot error. StratPost has learned that the cause became clear within 3-4 days after the crash itself.
Sources have informed StratPost the crash occurred due to mishandling of the Flight Control System (FCS) by the pilot, which led to the crash. While some reports indicate the pilot to have inadvertently switched off the FCS altogether, other reports are also suggesting a second error in control was made after the FCS was switched off, which led to complete loss of control. Experts on this aircraft remark it to be quite possible for the pilot to have inadvertently overridden the FCS and then mishandled the control of the aircraft, leading to the crash.
The cause of the crash being pilot error is also borne out by the fact that the IAF has not found the aircraft unfit for duty and has even gone ahead with its plans for deploying four of the aircraft at Tezpur in Assam. In fact, the IAF had given the go ahead for sorties around three weeks after the crash took place. The IAF currently has four squadrons of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.
The crash, which tool place near Jodhpur after the aircraft took off from the IAF base at Lohegaon, Pune, claimed the life of Wing Commander PS Nara, an inspector from the Directorate of Air Safety Inspections (DASI) who was in the rear seat. The aircraft was piloted by Wing Commander SV Munje.