An Indian Air Force advanced jet trainer aircraft crashed near a police station in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district on Wednesday, about 35 minutes after it took off from Kaleikunda air base in West Bengal. However, the two pilots – wing commander Sachin Mahajan and Flying officer Siddhant – had ejected safely minutes before the aircraft crashed. There was no civilian or livestock casualty.
Officials said the BAE Systems Hawk advanced trainer aircraft (A 3492) crashed at a paddyfield in Kudurasahi under Bisoyi block of Mayurbhanj at 1.23 pm today, ending in a massive fireball.
Siddhant, who sustained injuries on his head during landing, has been shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Baripada for treatment, said Mayurbhanj SP Surath Chandra Mallick. The two pilots were traced to a place about 2-3 km away from the accident site.
The aircraft took off from the Kaleikunda airbase of IAF in West Bengal along with two other aircrafts on a training sortie at 12.36 pm. Initial reports said that the crash was caused by ‘mechanical failure’. A court of inquiry is likely to be started soon to probe into the cause of the accident.
Senior IAF personnel from Kaleikunda rushed to the spot after the mishap. Firefighters from Bangiriposi rushed to the spot and tried to douse the fire. The aircraft was completely gutted. A 10-feet deep crater has been formed under the impact of the crash, eyewitnesses said.
Former IAF Captain and BJD MLA from Junagarh, Dibyasundar Mishra said the IAF aircrew have been training on the British Aerospace Hawk AJT for at least 8 years from now.