IAF training aircraft crashes, pilots safe

 Two trainee pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) had a providential escape on Tuesday as the training aircraft ‘Kiran’ they were piloting, suddenly crashed into a lake near the IAF station in suburban Tambaram.

Security men guard a part of the IAF aircraft that crashed on the outskirts of Chennai on Tuesday. PTI

The ‘INSP-U2462’ Kiran – Mark-II Aircraft was on a routine training sortie around 10-30 hours this morning, when the mishap occurred, Police and Defence sources told Deccan Herald.

The aircraft took a swirl and tumbled into the Iyyancheri Lake on the outskirts of Tambaram and broke into three pieces, Police in the district headquarters of Kancheepuram said over phone. But thanks to a tremendous presence of mind, the two trainee pilots, Deepak and Singh, “ejected safely”, Defence sources said.

The pilots jumped out of the crashing aircraft using their parachutes, which landed in a nearby housing colony. While Deepak suffered an injury on his back, Singh escaped unhurt, the sources added.

Even as the crashing sound of the Kiran aircraft into the lake, filled to the brim by the recent rains, brought hundreds of residents out of their homes to gather in anxiety around the lake, top Police officials including Kancheepuram SP, Manoharan, and Zonal DIG, Sailaendra Babu rushed to the spot to arrange rescue and relief operations. Fire services personnel were also summoned to the accident site to aid in the rescue work.

Both the pilots, however, managed to extricate themselves and the injured trainee pilot Deepak was rushed to the Military Hospital in St Thomas Mount, sources said, adding, there was no cause for worry.

The IAF, meanwhile, has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the crash.

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