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Air Force’s Sukhoi Fighter Crashes In Nashik, Pilot, Co-Pilot Eject Safely

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The Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi 30MKI fighter jet crashed in a field in Maharashtra’s Nashik today. The pilot and the co-pilot managed to eject safely but have suffered injuries.

The plane crashed in a field near Shirasgaon village, a senior police officer said.

Visuals showed the plume of smoke billowing after the aircraft crashed in the field. The twin-engine aircraft was up in flames and a crowd gathered near the crash site.

The aircraft took off from Ozar in Maharashtra’s Nashik and was on a test flight after being overhauled by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), sources told NDTV.

The aircraft was presently not in the inventory of the Indian Air Force, sources added.

The police and emergency services have reached the spot and medical treatment is being provided to the pilots. 

Sukhoi’s Ejection System

The Su-30MKI uses the zero-zero NPP Zvezda K-36DM ejection seat built by Russia.

The zero-zero capability was developed to help pilots escape from unrecoverable situations during low-altitude or low-speed flights as well as ground mishaps during takeoff or landing. The feature is said to be one of the advanced ejection capabilities that allow pilots to leave the eject safely.

The ejection seat is part of the overall ‘Egress’ system, which means the “way to exit”. The system includes explosives under the seat, the canopy, and parachutes. The angle of ejection is crucial. The fighter jet moves forward and the line of ejection is perpendicular to it to move the pilot away from the aircraft.

During ejection, the pilots experience high g-forces reaching up to 20 times the force experienced on earth, which can cause severe injuries and can even bar them from flying.

The extent of injuries suffered by the Su-30MKI pilots in today’s crash is unclear.

Mainstay of the IAF

The Su-30MKI form the mainstay of the Indian Air Force, with over 200 aircraft operating in several squadrons in the country.

The Sukhoi fighter jet is a twin-engine, twin-seater, fourth-generation fighter aircraft built by Russia. The aircraft is built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It has been operating in the Air Force for over 20 years and has undergone several upgrades with the MKI version being the latest.

 Air Force’s Sukhoi Fighter Crashes In Nashik, Pilot, Co-Pilot Eject Safely    

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