IAF trainer jet crashes in West Bengal, both pilots safe
An Indian Air Force (IAF) trainer jet crashed near Kalaikunda Air Force Station in the Midnapore West district of West Bengal. Both pilots, however, managed to eject safely. The Hawk Advanced Jet crashed during the take-off.
IAF sources said that the aircraft developed a technical problem at about 1100 hours, minutes after taking off from the base, where another Hawk had crashed in June last year.
The crash occurred within the boundary of the air station, 138 kms from here, and the two pilots ejected safely, they said.
"A Court of Inquiry has been instituted into the crash," an IAF source said.
Last year in June, another Hawk had crashed after taking off from Kalaikunda station as it developed a technical problem. Budding fighter pilots undergo their stage-III training for a year on Hawk.
Kalaikunda Air Force Station was the home of No. 18 Squadron IAF, the Flying Bullets. The squadron flew the Indian license-built Mikoyan MiG-27ML till its decommissioning in April this year. A squadron of Su-30 MKIs is now at the base.
The base was built by the British for the Royal Indian Air Force during World War II. It was used to conduct raids against advancing Japanese in Burma and also for operations to transport aid to parts of China.