New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): Pilots of a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft witnessed the accident involving another Su-30MKI and a Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft on Saturday over Morena in Madhya Pradesh.
The incident is now being probed by an Air Commodore-rank officer from the Air Headquarters in DelhiThe accident happened when the Indian Air Force's top gun school Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) was carrying out a simulated air combat exercise and the aircraft had taken off from Gwalior.
There were three fighters airborne in the area where the accident took place including two Su-30MKIs and one Mirage-2000 fighter flown by Wing Commander Hanumanth Rao Sarathi- known as one of the best fighter pilots in the Mirage-2000 fleet, Defence sources told ANI.
When the accident occurred over Morena, the pilots of the other Su-30MKI fighter witnessed the entire incident, they said.
The Air Headquarters is holding the probe into the incident which will bring out the exact details of the accident and the probe is headed by an Air Commodore from the Air Headquarters.
The accident took place when the Indian Air Force pilots were holding a close combat exercise flying at very high speeds. The Mirage and the Su-30MKIs can fly at speeds of more than 2,000 km per hour.
The TACDE is the topmost institute of the Air Force which develops all types of air combat skills in its pilots.
The Indian Air Force is famous globally for its close aerial combat skills and international forces acknowledge its prowess in this field.
The pilots were practicing close combat skills that day which is risky as the pilots fly at very high speeds. The Japanese Air Force also recently appreciated IAF aerial combat skills, the sources said.
Two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter aircraft crashed in Morena in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. Wing Commander Sarathi flying the Mirage 2000 aircraft during the exercise lost his life in the crash.
The ace fighter pilot was cremated yesterday in his native place Belagavi in Karnataka. His brother is also an IAF officer and was posted in an Apache helicopter squadron. (ANI)