Indian ‘Flying Coffins’: After 6 plane crashes in 6 months, it’s time to wake up

May -27, 2014- Anantnag: The debris of MIG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force that crashed today morning in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir, killing the pilot, on Tuesday. Photo/Mohd Amin War

By Ila Garg

It is a matter of grave concern that in a span of just six months, Indian Defense Forces have witnessed over six plane crashes while one Dornier aircraft has been missing. Such accidents are common in other Air force camps across the globe as well; however the rate at which Indian aircraft are crashing has questioned the credibility of defense services in India.

What is more ignominious is that the officials are not much bothered about such catastrophic incidents and have taken no visible precautionary steps in this direction.

The authorities keep blaming each other till the matter is finally closed. The breaking news is soon subsided and the wounded pilots continue to risk their lives in the name of serving the nation.

NewsGram has listed out the ill-fated aircrafts which have crashed or have been missing, in the last six months.

A Jaguar fighter plane of the Indian Air Force crashed in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh on 16 June 2015. The officials said that it took off for a routine sortie and crashed just few minutes later. Both the pilots ejected safely, though the plane was destroyed.

Just about a week ago, on 8 June 2015, a Dornier aircraft which took off from Chennai airport for a surveillance sortie went missing on its way back. Its last known location, as per Trichy radar, was off Karaikal in Puducherry, 95 nautical miles south of Chennai.

The probable cause for the disappearance of the aircraft is still being debated, as the citizens are left appalled. The officials have so far been unable to disclose any further details.

The month of June has been a rough month for IAF so far as yet another fighter trainer aircraft, Hawk A-3492 crashed in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district on 3 June 2015.

Since it crashed during afternoon hours and fell in a paddy field, away from habitation, no civilian causalities were reported. The two pilots ejected safely too.

But the question looming out of this issue is- will the pilots continue to be lucky, with such incidents of crashes being so frequent?

In yet another reprehensible incident on 27 March 2015, a Dornier aircraft met its ill fate. This was the first Dornier of the Indian Navy to crash, since it was inducted into the Navy in the early 90’s.

It was carrying out a search and rescue exercise at night when it crashed, claiming the lives of two naval officers Lt. Kiran Shekhawat and Lt. Abhinav Nagori.

In the same month, on 5 March 2015, an Indian Air Force Jaguar crashed close to Shahbad town in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district due to some technical issues. The plane had taken off from the Ambala Air base. The pilot reportedly gave a distress call before he ejected safely, though he suffered several injuries.

Such crashes continue to plague Indian Armed Forces and there seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel. On 31 January 2015, an Indian Air Force MiG-21, on a training flight, crashed into a sea near Gujarat’s Jamnagar district.

The pilot was able to safely eject before the plane crashed, though he endured minor injuries.

This particular crash had caused a major stir amongst the denizens and a court inquiry was initiated to determine the cause of the crash though as it happens with all such cases, even the investigation for this case too was soon closed.

Earlier, on 27 January 2015, a MiG-27 fighter jet crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer. The jet fell on a passing motorcycle, badly injuring the young man who was riding it. He suffered minor burns and his hand fractured while his bike was completely burnt.

The IAF later said that the pilot was safe and had ejected few kilometers before the crash.

India thus, has had an appalling record of aircraft mishaps over recent years, and apparently no effective measures have been taken so far.

These unfortunate accidents have brought indifferent attitude of the government officials to the forefront. They continue to be negligent towards the safety of the pilots and use low quality parts in the aircraft.

With 6 plane crashes and a missing aircraft in 2015, time and again questions are raised over the reliability of Indian Defense Forces.

It’s high time that the authorities should start paying heed to this matter before it’s too late. If these events continue to recur, how can the youngsters be motivated to join Indian Armed Forces? The common faith keeps shattering down and yet the officials seem to remain unperturbed.

Illustration By: Ila Garg