Tejas LCA Aircraft Crash in Jaisalmer Unprecedented, Clarity Needed On What Caused It

Tejas LCA Aircraft Crash in Jaisalmer Unprecedented, Clarity Needed On What Caused It

The plane crashed into a hostel building near the Kalla and Jawahar colonies in Jaisalmer. There were no casualties and the pilot managed to eject safely just before the mishap occurred.

V SudarshanUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 04:45 PM IST
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PTI

A Tejas LCA aircraft possibly participating in the Bharat Shakti exercise in Pokharan where tri-service fire power was being demonstrated for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, crashed about a hundred kilometers from the demonstration site.

The plane crashed into a hostel building near the Kalla and Jawahar colonies in Jaisalmer. There were no casualties and the pilot managed to eject safely just before the mishap occurred.

Tejas aircraft normally carry range of weapons

While it was not immediately clear what kind of ammunition the aircraft was carrying when it crashed, the Tejas normally carries a range of weapons. It carries missiles, both close combat missiles and beyond visual range missiles - or laser guided bombs. It is also capable of carrying "dumb bombs" the ones without laser guidance, the kind that you drop and keep your fingers crossed it finds the target. The Tejas can also carry special racks and 25 kgs practice bombs.

Typically the arms are primed to go off when the pilot is ready to drop them.

Clarity needed on how crash happened

Since the aircraft was participating in the fire power demonstration, it is presumable that it might have been carrying weapons when it took off for what is being described as an "operational training sortie."

It is also not clear at what stage of the operational sortie the crash occurred, how soon after the take-off or on its return. Most of the flight path from the Jaisalmer air force base to the firing range in Pokhran is over desert terrain, sparsely inhabited.

This is the first time in over 30,000 sorties that a Tejas has crashed. The Prime Minister himself enjoyed an incident-free a sortie in Bangalore a month after the aircraft, built in India, was inducted into the air force in October last year.

A court of enquiry has been ordered, all the more significant considering that things could have gone wrong far closer to the VIP enclosure from where the fire power demonstrations were being witnessed . The flight data recorder and the pilot's debriefing will yield the information as to what exactly happened.

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