IAF’s C-130J aircraft crashes near Gwalior killing five on board

Gwalior: In a major setback for the Air Force, a newly acquired US-made C-130J transport aircraft crashed near Gwalior after taking off from the Agra air base, killing five crew members, including four officers.

Those killed in the crash are the aircraft’s captain Wing Commander Prashant Joshi, Wing Commander Raji Nair, Squadron Leader Kaushik Mishra, Squadron Leader Ashish Yadav (Navigator) and Warrant Officer Krishnapal Singh (flight engineer), IAF officials said.

•   The IAF’s aircraft that crashed on Friday; (top row l-r) Wing Commanders P Joshi, Raji Nair and Sqadron Leader K Mishra (Bottom row l-r) Sqadron Leader A Yadav and Wing Officer Krishna Pal Singh

“One C-130J aircraft crashed 115 km west of the Gwalior air base. The aircraft left Agra at 10 am for a routine training mission. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident,” an IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi.

Senior officials, including superintendent of police, Karauli, rushed to the site of the crash along the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh border. India had recently inducted six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were bought from the US for around Rs 6,000 crore three years ago.

The aircraft can carry up to 20 tonnes of load and can land and take-off from short runways. The ‘black box’ of the aircraft has been recovered and is being analysed to assess the reason for the crash. “It is very unfortunate that we have lost five of our brave warriors in a tragic accident. It is a sad moment for all of us and we share the grief of the family members,” Air Chief Marshal Subir Raha said.
The BJP later criticised the centre over the crash, saying the government had to assume responsibility. The C-130J, also known as the Super Hercules, sources said, had been used in tandem with an IAF P8I Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft during the recent search for the missing Malaysianflight MH 370.


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April 30, 2009: A Sukhoi Su-30MKI crashes in Pokhran after it took off from Pune during its routine sortie, killing one of its two pilots.

June 9, 2009: An Antonov An-32 Cline transport aircraft crashes near a village in Arunachal Pradesh, killing 13 defence personnel.

August 21, 2009: An Indian Navy British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS.51 crashes shortly after take-off from Dabolim Airport near Goa, killing the pilot .
March 3, 2010: An Indian Navy HAL Kiran Mk.II crashed into a building in Hyderabad during the “India Aviation 2010″ air show/exhibition. Both pilots and a civilian on the ground were killed.

February 2, 2011: An Indian Army HAL Cheetah helicopter crashed at Nashik, killing both crew members.

June 25, 2013: An IAF Mil Mi-17 carrying 20 personnel working on Flash Flood rescue operations in Uttarakhand crashed into hilly terrain killing all on board.