IAF aircraft crash: Mirage plane's black box, parts of Sukhoi jet's flight data recorder recovered
The black box of Mirage 2000 and a part of the flight data recorder of Sukhoi-30MKI jet, which had crashed in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, have been found in the wreckage, an official said on Sunday.
Teams of the Indian Air Force (IAF) studied and inspected a forested area of Pahargarh where the debris of the two fighter jets fell on Saturday. The two frontline combat aircraft of the IAF crashed during a training mission in Morena, resulting in the death of a wing commander while two other pilots ejected safely.
"The black box of the Mirage aircraft has been found from the wreckage in Pahargarh area of Morena. A part of the Sukhoi aircraft's black box has also been found and the remaining part of the recorder might have fallen in Bharatpur," Morena Superintendent of Police Ashutosh Bagri told PTI over the phone.
"The IAF, police and other departments are searching for the remaining part of the Sukhoi aircraft recorder," he said. A black box, or the flight data recorder, is an electronic recording device placed in an aircraft and helps in the investigation of flight accidents.
Pahargarh area police inspector Dharmendra Gour said the forested area where the wreckage fell has been cordoned off. "Even police are not being allowed in the (cordoned off) area. Officials of IAF are present there," he said.
Media personnel are also not allowed in the area. Gour said he was not aware when asked whether the wife of the deceased pilot might come to Pahargarh and visit the wreckage site. "The IAF is handling the matter and the area," he added.
Defence experts have said the Russian-designed Sukhoi-30MKI jet and the French Mirage-2000 possibly had a mid-air collision, but there was no official comment on the cause of the crash from the IAF.
Both the jets had taken off from the Gwalior Air Force station. The base has squadrons of both Sukhoi-30MKIs and the Mirage 2000 jets.
Morena Collector Ankit Asthana on Saturday said the debris of both aircraft fell in Pahargarh area of the district and also in Rajasthan's Bharatpur, which borders Madhya Pradesh.
A high-level probe has been ordered into the accident, officials earlier said. While the Mirage aircraft's pilot, identified as Wing Commander Hanumanth Rao Sarathi, was killed in the accident, the two pilots of the Sukhoi aircraft managed to eject and land. They were taken to a military hospital, they had said.
According to an aviation expert, it was the first Mirage 2000 as well as Sukhoi-30MKI that the IAF lost in a mid-air collision.
The SU-30MKI is a twin-seater combat jet, while the Mirage 2000, manufactured by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, is a single-seater aircraft.
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