labels: News reports, Military aircraft, Indian Air Force, Sukhoi JSC
Pilot error responsible for April Su-30MKI crash, says defence ministry news
17 June 2009

New Delhi: A joint probe by Indian and Russian defence and aerospace engineers into the crash of an Indian Air Force Sukhoi aircraft over Jaisalmer in April this year, which resulted in the death of an IAF officer, has blamed the mishap on human error. The probe found no fault with the aircraft itself.

"The joint probe by IAF and Russian experts into the Su-30MKI crash has found that there is no problem with the aircraft," top defence ministry officials said Tuesday. They also indicated Sukhoi 30MKIthat the accident happened because the pilot of the aircraft inadvertently switched off the flight controls in the cockpit.

The probe has also revealed that the ejection seat's harness had broken which led to the loss of life.

A Su-30MKI aircraft crashed on 30 April while flying in a formation of four aircraft over Jaisalmer. Both the occupants of the twin-seater aircraft ejected but while the pilot, Wing Commander SV Munje managed to bail out safely, his passenger, Wing Commander PS Nara, died as his parachute failed to function properly.

The IAF ordered a court of inquiry, which also took on board about 20 Russian experts from the Sukhoi establishment.

Ministry of defence officials indicated that the court of inquiry was yet to complete its report.

But preliminary results would come as a source of relief for the Indian Air Force as the Su-30MKI is a frontline fighter aircraft and the crash had come as shock for the aircraft has an unrivalled safety record.

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Pilot error responsible for April Su-30MKI crash, says defence ministry