Trying To Ascertain Cause Of AN-32 Crash: IAF Chief

Hyderabad :  Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Saturday said the Indian Air Force was trying to ascertain the cause of the recent crash of AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh that killed 13 people.

He said the IAF would also take steps to ensure such accidents do not recur. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Combined Graduation Parade at Air Force Academy, Dundigal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The aircraft went missing on June 3, after taking off from Jorhat in Assam. Its wreckage was found by the rescue team on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts. All 13 persons onboard were killed.

The IAF Chief said they recovered the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. “We will analyse it and go into details to find out what happened and how we make sure that it does not happen again,” he said.

Dhanoa said that the terrain in Aruncahal is difficult to fly. “The terrain there is very treacherous and most of the time it is cloudy,” he said and pointed that there have been many accidents involving not just IAF aircraft but also others.

Earlier, the Air Chief Marshal reviewed the parade and conferred the aPresident’s Commission’ on behalf of the President of India to 152 graduating flight cadets who completed their basic and professional training.

The flight cadets including 24 women graduated as Flying Officers to join the elite cadre of the IAF.

Dhanoa, an alumnus of the Academy, said he was here 41 years ago and did a lot of flying as a cadet and also as an instructor.

Dhanoa, who is also the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, said it was a matter of great pride to review the parade and welcome fine men and women into the Indian Air Force as military leaders and aviators. 

He exhorted the cadets to uphold the core IAF values of mission, integrity and excellence.

Gajulapalli Navin Kumar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh received the President Plaque along with Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for outstanding performance in pilots’ course.

Navin Reddy, the only son of Subedar of Indian Army, G. Pulla Reddy, said he chose IAF as he liked the speed of the fighter aircraft. “The thrill always keeps me motivated. Everyone won’t get this chance. I have put in a lot of hard work to reach here,” said Navin Reddy, who hails from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh.

Parents of the graduating trainees and various military and civilian officials witnessed the colourful march past.