The Indian Air Force had planned to phase out the Kiran from 2014 onwards but has been forced to repeatedly extend the retirement date as state-owned aircraft manufacturer HAL has failed to develop its replacement to date.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — A female cadet of the Indian Air Force suffered minor injuries as a Kiran MK-IA basic trainer aircraft crashed minutes after it took off from the Hakimpet airforce station Friday afternoon. It was on a routine training mission for the trainee pilot.
“It crashed around 35 miles North East of the base. The trainee pilot ejected safely and landed on the ground with minor injuries. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the Indian Air Force said in a statement.
According to local witnesses, parts of the aircraft totally disintegrated midair and fell over a large area near a building under construction and burned to ashes. “There was a loud explosion, and when I came out of my house, I saw smoke and burning pieces of the aircraft everywhere,” local resident M Srinivas told Sputnik.
Indian Air Force’s Trainer Aircraft Kiran Crashes; Pilot, 30 Villagers Escape
Earlier on September 28, another Kiran trainer that took off from Hakimpet air force station crashed in Keesara village. The two-seater HJT-16 Kiran is developed by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and has been used as intermediate trainer aircraft since 1968.