Sukhoi aircraft crashes near Nashik; pilots safe

The aircraft, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under licence by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), had taken off from the HAL airstrip near Nashik. (Image: ANI Twitter)

A Sukhoi aircraft, awaiting induction into the Indian Air Force, crashed near Nashik on Wednesday morning.

There were no casualties and both the pilots ejected safely before the plane hit the ground, police said.

The under-production Sukhoi Su-30MKI twinjet multirole air superiority fighter of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) crashed in a farm at Wavi-Thushi village near Pimpalgaon Baswant town, around 25 km from Nashik, police said.

The aircraft crashed at 11.05 am and the Pimpalgaon police station received information about the crash at 11.15 am, a police official said.

The aircraft, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under licence by HAL, had taken off from the HAL airstrip near Nashik, police said.

A top official involved with the aircraft production told PTI that the Sukhoi which crashed on Wednesday was the first of the batch produced at the Aircraft Manufacturing Division at HAL Nashik this year.

"Normally around 12 aircraft are manufactured for a new squadron and each aircraft, worth over Rs 300 crore, has a manufacturing cycle of around 3 years," the official said.

"This particular aircraft had completed several flights and was about to be inducted into the IAF," he said.

Before induction, such aircraft are flown by either HAL pilots or IAF pilots under deputation with HAL, he said.

Asked about villagers seeing three parachutes in the sky, the official said the illusion of the third parachute may be due to the canopy opening first before both the pilots ejected to safety.

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Sukhoi aircraft crashes near Nashik; pilots safe

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