May 18, 2024

Sukhoi fighter with pilots goes missing

TAP | Updated: May 23, 2017


GUWAHATI, May 23: An Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30 fighter jet with two pilots on board went missing near Tezpur in Assam during a routine training mission on Tuesday. Unconfirmed reports said the jet might have crashed in Kalaktang area of Arunachal Pradesh.

The plane went missing at 11:30 am, around 60 km north of the Tezpur IAF base from where it had taken off, said Guwahati-based defence spokesman Lt Col Suneet Newton and the deputy commissioner of Sonitpur district where the IAF station is located.

Newton said that the aircraft had lost radar and radio contact with the airbase.

Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Deka told reporters in Tezpur that the Air Force base had informed him that the Su-30 plane with two pilots had taken off from the airbase at 10.30 am for a regular sortie and lost contact with the IAF air traffic control over Dubia near Gohpur.

The Air Force, after carrying out a search on its network, informed the deputy commissioner about the incident.

The DC said he alerted the neighbouring district administrations about the missing plane.

Bad light forced the army and air force officials to call off the search Tuesday afternoon. The search will resume Wednesday morning.

The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter meant for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. The first of the Su-30 planes were inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s.

Since their induction, seven crashes have taken place. An inquiry into the plane accidents has primarily indicated technical failure as their cause.

The last Sukhoi crashed on March 15 in Rajasthan's Barmer, hours after a Chetak helicopter crash landed and toppled in Kaushambi near Allahabad.