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IAF chief reinforces confidence in Sukhoi with hour-long sortie news
21 December 2011

A week after the crash of a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter plane which led to the Sukhoi fleet being grounded, IAF chief N A K Browne today flew an hour-long sortie in the aircraft in Pune, in a bid to shore up the confidence of pilots.

The air chief marshal, who took off from Lohegaon air base was accompanied by Wing Commander Anurag Sharma, the commanding officer of the SU-30 MKI squadron, based in Pune.

Browne addressed the airmen after the sortie and said, he wanted to be in Pune to not only fly the SU-30 MKI but also to assure the airmen that the SU-30 fleet was in good and capable hands.

IAF had temporarily ground the fleet of around 120 Russian-made Sukhois to carry out checks following the crash of an aircraft that had taken off from Lohegaon on 13 December.

According to a spokesperson, the chief had been restoring the confidence of pilots and all the air-warriors in the fighter aircraft. He added the chief personally wanted to ensure that the Sukhois were safe.

Browne had earlier commanded the base as the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), from 2001 to 2003.

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IAF chief reinforces confidence in Sukhoi with hour-long sortie