The Indian Air Force on Wednesday confirmed that the two pilots of the Sukhoi jet that crashed last week did not survive. The Su-30 aircraft went missing on May 23 and then found approximately 60 kilometres from the Tezpur Airbase near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. After analysing the Flight Data Recorder of the aircraft and locating other articles from the crash site, authorities confirmed Squadron Leader D Pankaj and Flight Lt S Achudev suffered fatal injuries after they were unable to initiate ejection before the crash. A Court of Inquiry had already been ordered.
Search and rescue teams, comprising of the Army, IAF and civil administrative personnel found a blood stained shoe, half-burnt PAN card and a wallet belonging to one of the two pilots on Tuesday. Earlier, through an aerial recce, teams had found wreckage from the crash, after which they recovered the aircraft’s blackbox from the site. The jet crashed in a dense forest near the border, and incessant rain, dense clouds and difficult terrain made it difficult to conduct search operations in air or on the ground.
Read: Pilot’s blood stained shoe, other belongings found. Click here.
The Su-30, which had taken off from the Tezpur air base at around 10.30 am on a routine training mission on May 23, lost radar and radio contact with the controlling station.