TAMIL NADU

Trainer aircraft crash: parts brought to Bangalore for probe

BANGALORE, MARCH 11. The engine and body parts of a HPT-32 trainer involved in a crash killing an Indian Air Force pilot near Hyderabad last week has been brought to here for investigation, IAF Training Command, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal Subash Bhojwani, said today.

"The engine and other parts have been brought to Bangalore. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is doing the evaluation," he said on the sidelines of an event to inaugurate Cytotron, a device developed by the Institute of Aerospace Medicine and the Centre for Advanced Research and Development.

HAL is the manufacturer of the piston engine basic trainer, Pushpak, and has produced nearly 200 aircraft for the IAF to train pilots. Flight Cadet Sparsh Rana (22) was on his second solo flight from the Air Force Academy on the Pushpak, when he was killed in the crash, on March 4. "The debris has been found in a close area allowing us to believe that there was nothing wrong with the control panels. " said Air Marshal Bhojwani.

On whether the DRDO's plans to build a lead-in-jet trainer, which will be a smarter version of the LCA and HAL's plans to build the twin-engine Combat Air Trainer that will be superior to the Hawk aircraft , he said, "It is too early to say anything about this as the Hawk trainer has not yet arrived."