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IAF fighter jet crashes near Kalaikunda Air Base in Bengal's West Midnapur

The AJT Hawk is primarily an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) that takes rookie IAF pilots through their second stage of training before they advance to fighter jets.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 13, 2024 19:11 IST
IAF's fighter jet crashes in West Bengal
Image Source : INDIA TV IAF's fighter jet crashes in West Bengal

A fighter jet crashed in the Diasa area during the training of the Air Force at Kalaikunda Air Base in Bengal's West Midnapur district on Tuesday.

Two pilots, who were in the plane, ejected safely using parachutes. The warplane fell in a paddy field at around 3:35 pm. An atmosphere of panic was witnessed in the area when the plane crashed.

The plane crashed in civilian area near the Kalaikunda Air Force Station between 4 pm and 5 pm while returning from the training sortie.

The official said there was no loss of life or damage to civilian property in the accident. The plane had taken off from Air Force Station Kalaikunda, which is mainly used as a training base.

A court of inquiry has been instituted to find out the cause of the accident.

The jet involved in the crash was the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk. Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Midnapore district is home to two squadrons of AJT Hawks. These aircraft are twin-seaters.. Apart from the trainee, there is an experienced instructor on board to monitor her/his flying skills and take over during emergencies.

The Hawks were originally procured from BAE Systems and are now produced under licence at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengaluru. Since their inception, the Hawks have saved the lives of several young pilots.

Before they were inducted, the rookies would undergo the second stage of training in Mig-21 aircraft that are far more difficult to handle, particularly during take-offs. Several young lives were lost in crashes then.

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