Senior IAF Officer Killed In Jaguar Fighter Crash During Routine Sortie, Probe Ordered
Air Commodore Sanjay Chauhan, an IAF officer, died after the Jaguar aircraft he was piloting, crashed soon after takeoff in Gujarat’s Kutch.
Reports say that the plane flew from Jamnagar airbase for a routine training mission, and crashed near a village, reported NDTV.
A routine mission ended in tragedy
Defense spokesperson in Ahmedabad, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Ojha said that the Jaguar fighter jet took off from the Jamnagar airbase on June 5, but it crashed near Beraja village at 10:30 am, 340 km from Ahmedabad. The Air Commodore was on the plane alone.
“He was on a routine training mission when the plane crashed. No information on the cause of the crash is available as yet. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate as to what led to the crash,” Ojha told The Indian Express.
Reports say that the plane crashed in an open field 2km from the village. “The burning debris of the plane landed in an open field away from the village. However, a few cows which were grazing in the area were burnt to death. A cattle-herder has also sustained minor injuries,” MS Bharada, superintendent of police of Kutch (west) told The Indian Express.
“We have cordoned off the crash site, and teams of IAF have started reaching the spot. Search and rescue mission is still on,” he said.
The severity of the crash was such that it was difficult to ascertain from the debris whether the aircraft was a fighter jet or a helicopter, Bharada said. “The plane has been reduced to very small pieces of debris. Only a small part of the pilot’s mortal remains has been recovered so far,” he said.
Police said that a high-tension transmission line was also passing by the area where the debris of the plane landed. However, the line was not damaged, they added.
The fact that the crash site was an open field is not a coincidence. Many of his colleagues took to Twitter to say what has actually happened.
What is Jaguar Aircraft?
Jaguar is a twin-jet, ground attack aircraft. This deep penetration strike aircraft can make fast, low-level dashes into enemy territory for precision strikes and bombing missions. India first acquired it in the 1980s. It has been upgraded since then. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited manufactures its license.