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IAF trainer aircraft crash lands in Telangana, two pilots killed

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A Pilatus trainer aircraft crashed during a routine sortie in Telangana’s Medak district on Monday morning, leaving both the pilots dead.

The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to probe the crash of Swiss-made Pilatus PC 7 Mk II aircraft, used for the basic training of newly inducted pilots. It took off for a routine training sortie in the morning with an instructor and a rookie pilot from the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad but later crash landed in Toopran mandal of the Medak district of Telangana, officials informed.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “anguished by this incident”. “It is deeply saddening that two pilots have lost their lives. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families,” he posted on X after the IAF expressed deep regret for the loss of lives of both the pilots. No damage to any civil life or property was reported due to the incident, added the IAF.

There was no official word on the reason for the crash of the single-engine turboprop trainer aircraft. Superintendent of Police, Medak, Rohini confirmed the crash to local media and stated the airport staff and clue team reached the spot for necessary action. “The fire fighters were also rushed to douse the fire,” she added.

India is looking to replace PC 7 Mk II aircrafts with Hindustan Turbo Trainer Aircraft-40 (HTT-40), being manufactured by Navratna PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which will start delivering them to the IAF from 2025. The Government has placed order for 70 HTT-40 aircrafts to HAL at a cost of ₹6,838.

The IAF has 78 Pilatus in its fleet but it cancelled the order for 38 more such planes in favour of indigenously made HTT-40s.



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