Just two months after the tragic loss of an AN-32 transport aircraft, a Sukhoi 30 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed near Tezpur in Assam on Thursday evening, a defence spokesperson said. Both the pilots of the aircraft escaped unhurt as they ejected before the fighter jet crashed in a paddy field, defence spokesperson Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande said. One of the pilots suffered injury in his leg, he said.
According to defence spokesman, Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh, the Su-30 MKI jet was on a routine training mission from the Tezpur airbase when it crashed in the Milanpur area and burst into flames at around 8:30 pm. "Both the pilots onboard the aircraft, however, managed to eject safely and have been rescued," he added.
The crash caused no damage to public property and local people rushed the two pilots to the Army Base Hospital in Tezpur. Fire tenders rushed to the spot to bring the flames under control, the fire department said.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, official sources said in Delhi.
Last year, a Su-30 fighter jet went missing with two pilots on board while on a routine training mission from Tezpur. The wreckage of the aircraft was recovered three days later, close to its last known position after a massive surveillance operation.
According to reports, seven Su-30s - a frontline fighter of the IAF - had crashed in various incidents in different parts of the country till July 2018. They were inducted into service in 1997.
The incident came close on the heels of the crash of Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft with 13 people on board. The wreckage of the plane, which went missing along the Indo-China border on June 3, was recovered almost a week later on June 11.