Eight fighter aircraft and four helicopters of the defence forces crashed this year till December 2, Government told the Rajya Sabha today.
“In these accidents, nine pilots or service personnel and one civilian were killed. The main cause of the fighter and helicopter accidents were human error and technical defects,” Defence Minister A K Antony told the House while replying to a question.
He said that every aircraft and helicopter accident is thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of accident and remedial measures are taken accordingly to prevent their recurrence in future.
Replying to a query on crash of a MiG-29 fighter aircraft near Rohtang pass, he said, “A MiG-29 fighter plane of the IAF crashed near Rohtang pass in Himachal Pradesh on October 18. The pilot was killed in the crash and no other MiG-29 aircraft crash has taken place during during 2011.”
On steps taken by Air Force to check these accidents, he said IAF has taken serious measures to check their recurrence in future.
“IAF has taken various measures relating to invigorating of aviation safety organisation, analytical studies and quality audit of the aircraft fleet to identify vulnerable areas and institute remedial measures to reduce aircraft accidents,” he said.
Ornithology cell, which carries out bird surveys at flying bases hand suggests bird prevention modules, has been established at the Directorate of Aerospace Safety, he said.
The Defence Minister informed the House that all flying bases were visited by senior aerospace safety personnel of IAF to apprise and caution the operating units about causes of accidents and to get views towards enhancing aviation safety.
On training of pilots, Antony said, “Steps taken to train pilots include increased use of simulators to practice procedures and emergency action, focused and realistic training with additional emphasis on critical aspects of mission, crew resources management and operational risk management for safe missions.”
Aviation psychology course and introduction of aerospace safety capsules in the ab-initio training of air crew has also been in included in the IAF, he said.
-via Outlook India