The Indian Air Force Tuesday initiated an investigation after the fuel tank of a Tejas aircraft, fell into an agricultural field in Coimbatore of Tamil Nadu. The fuel tank came off the fighter aircraft while on a routine sortie.
Defence sources in Chennai confirmed that a fuel tank from Tejas aircraft fell and said “all (was) safe”, indicating that there were no injuries, PTI reported. The jet, however, landed safely in the nearby Sulur Air Force station.
Agriculture labourers in Irugur village were shocked to see the 1200-litre petrol tank fall from the sky. It caused a three-foot deep crater and a minor fire, the police added.
A similar incident took place in at the Ambala Air Force Station when a pilot had to drop two additional fuel tanks and Carrier Bomb Light Stores (CBLS) pods after suffering a bird-hit. The IAF praising the young pilot had said, “Despite most serious emergencies staring in his face, the young pilot assessed the situation in seconds, jettisoned two additional fuel drop tanks & CBLS Pods as per Standard Operating Procedure & safely landed the aircraft.”
A drop tank is generally an auxiliary fuel tank carried by fighter jets which can be jettisoned at time of emergencies.