Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne said here on Friday that HPT-32 Deepak trainer aircraft, which was grounded, had the problem of engine cuts and a poor glide ratio.

During his interaction with the media after the induction of Swiss-made Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II basic trainer into the IAF at a ceremony at Dundigal Air Force Academy (AFA), he said due HPT-32’s poor glide ratio, the aircraft could not be even force landed during an emergency, especially near AFA as the terrain was rocky and dotted with boulders.

“As a result, we had lost a number of pilots,” he added. There was somehow lack of confidence and that was why the need was felt for a modern aircraft, he added.

Asked if there would be no accidents with the new Pilatus aircraft, he said that nobody could give that assurance but the IAF had best safety record last year.

The aircraft could not be even force landed during an emergency: Air Chief Marshal Browne