M A I N   N E W S

MiG-29 crashes in HP; pilot’s fate unknown
Tribune News Service

Kullu/Jalandhar, Oct 19
The search for the wreckage of an IAF MiG-29 aircraft, which crashed somewhere in the Himalayan ranges in Lahaul-Spiti around 8.30 pm yesterday evening, was suspended on Wednesday after the sorties failed to locate the wreckage or the pilot. The search and rescue mission will resume on Thursday even as the IAF ordered a court of inquiry to investigate into the causes of the crash.

Two MiG-29 aircrafts had taken off from the Adampur Air Force Station on a night flying sortie as part of the on-going exercises of the Western Air Command. While one of the aircrafts successfully flew to Leh and returned, the other one, being flown by a Squadron Leader, crashed. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a ball of fire streaking through the night sky before exploding with a bang.

This is the third air crash reported in Lahaul-Spiti in the last 50 years. An army helicopter had crashed near the Suraj Tal glacier a decade ago while an aircraft carrying over 60 army personnel had crashed in the early sixties, killing all its occupants. The wreckage of the plane was found over 15 years later.

Defence spokesman Naresh Vig said that the high altitude and the mountains were making the search operation difficult. The Adampur Air Base, he said, lost radio contact with the aircraft at 8.30 pm.


3 dead as BSF copter crashes near Ranchi

Ranchi, October 19
A Border Security Force (BSF) helicopter crashed in a forested area near this Jharkhand capital on Wednesday, killing all three persons aboard, the police said.

The two pilots, Captain SP Singh and Captain A Thomas, and crew member M Swain were killed when the helicopter crashed near Kolad village on the Ranchi-Khuti border, around 40 km from here.

“The helicopter was completely burnt and parts were strewn in an area of more than 200 metres,” SN Pradhan, Inspector General of Police (Operations), said.

According to an eyewitness, there was a terrible sound before the chopper crashed, catching fire and breaking into several parts. The black box has been recovered. A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) team will probe the cause of the incident.

Though the helicopter, regularly used for anti-Maoist operations, crashed in a Maoist-affected area, Pradhan said there was no possibility of the guerrillas being involved in the incident. “The chopper was flying around 2,000 feet above the ground. The crash site indicates that the chopper crashed at high speed. It could have developed a technical snag.” — IANS




6 killed in Nepalese army plane crash

Kathmandu, October 19
All six people on board a military plane on a rescue mission were killed when the aircraft crashed in a remote mountainous region in western Nepal. The Nepal army said they had recovered all the six bodies. — PTI




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