Acting promptly, the pilot jettisoned the plane's external fuel tanks and other loads and managed to land the aircraft safely, averting a major disaster, said IAF officials.
A Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force Thursday suffered an engine failure due to suspected bird hit, forcing its pilot to make an emergency landing at Ambala air base. Acting promptly, the pilot jettisoned the plane’s external fuel tanks and other loads and managed to land the aircraft safely, averting a major disaster, said IAF officials.
One of the fuel tanks landed in a residential area near Ambala air base but no one was injured, added district administration officials. The aircraft took off from Ambala air base on a training mission at around 7.45 am. It, however, suffered an engine failure due a suspected bird hit immediately after the takeoff, said IAF officials.
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“The pilot assessed the situation correctly and jettisoned external stores as per the standard operating procedures. The prompt and correct actions by the pilot enabled him to recover the crippled aircraft on single engine and carry out a safe landing at Air Force Station, Ambala,” said IAF in a statement.
A court of inquiry has been ordered. An AN-32 transport aircraft crashed in Arunachal Pradesh killing 13 people on June 3. As many as 33 IAF aircraft, including 19 fighter jets, met accidents since 2015-16, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told the Lok Sabha Wednesday. There were no casualties or reports of anyone sustaining any injury due to fall of fuel tank in the residential area, the officials added.
“Some objects (fuel tank) fell outside the Air Force station near a residential area in Ambala, but no one was injured, though panic gripped the area for a while,” Ambala Superintendent of Police Mohit Handa said over phone. Officials said an ambulance and a fire brigade were rushed to the spot, but luckily no had been injured.