Saturday, February 25, 2012

Air Marshal Punches Out Of Doomed Mirage

He's the seniormost Indian Air Force officer ever to eject. Air Marshal Anil Chopra, currently Air Officer in charge of Personnel (AOP) at IAF HQ punched out of a Dassault Mirage 2000TH operational trainer over Central India just after noon. Air Marshal Chopra, Commodore Commandant of 1 Squadron Tigers was in Gwalior for a reunion of the elite Mirage unit and a tour of the base. A passionate fighter pilot, Air Marshal Chopra doesn't get to fly as often as he'd like. and is one of only a few senior officers who still flies when he gets a chance.

On Friday, he flew front cockpit with Tigers squadron commander Wing Commander Ram Kumar. Over Bhind, an area replete with ravines, the aircraft's Snecma M53 flamed out. After a series of relight attempts failed, the pilots initiated ejection procedures and bailed out. They were picked up by a SAR helicopter shortly thereafter and transferred to the military hospital in Gwalior. Both are safe and in good health.

Air Marshal Chopra has commanded the Tigers squadron and was part of the crew that ferried the first Mirages to India from France in the mid-1980s. He was posted in Russia during the MiG-21 upgrade programme and has commanded the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore. Before picking up the three-star rank, he was Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Jammu & Kashmir at Udhampur, overseeing military air ops in that theater.

Photo / Sanjay Simha on BR

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahh let the French euphoria continue. French planes are crap. Buy American.

pankaj said...

no no no mirage is good jet just like sea harrier 25 year ago india had 20+ sea harrier but today only 4 or 7 all it crash mirage go on the way of mig when rafel come mirage only on the photo but poylot r safe

Anonymous said...

Would would have been the aftermath with a MiG 21 ?
Glad he ejected safely.
;)

Shubham said...

The tenure of the present Air Chief has been marked by crashes of all the operating fighter types of the IAF if i am not wrong. In the past few months only we have lost a Su-30, Mig 29 and now this. Extremely unfortunate turn of events regarding the plane crashes. However, its good that there were no casualties.

Hrishikesh said...

Wonder why doesn't a mirage crash make as much sound as a mig / sukhoi crash.

No Mig or Sukhoi has crashed at an Indian air show but a Mirage did crash in Palam during Air Force day more than two decades ago.

Anonymous said...

This is to anonymous who has commented that"Ahh let the French euphoria continue. French planes are crap. Buy American." If your Mercedes car fails to start, does it mean that all German and Mercedes cars are crap and you need to go and buy American cars? Ignorance is bliss for you my friend. Every aircraft built is a complex thing. There can be unexpected failures. F16 has not crashed? Dont forget that the same Mirages helped us in Kargil.

Mr. Ra said...

Save the Mirage for up-gradation.

Generic Troll said...

Oh my God! Flying coffin! Scam! Incompetence! Corruption! Etc. Etc. Etc.

Anonymous said...

But the fact remains that even in mirage upgrade we are not upgrading the engines. mirages will have to fly for long time using there current engine. Better cancel mirage upgrade deal and go for more Raphales

Anonymous said...

When a Mirage crashes nobody makes a lot of noise because our IAF is still in love with an obsolete fighter so much so they deemed it fit to upgrade them at obscene exorbitant rates instead of getting newer and more potent birds.

Let us wait and see how the French turn and twist with the TOT they are to part with in the Rafale purchases.

We saw their hard-nosed business acumen in the Scorpene deal and how they could put the blame squarely on the incompetent and inefficient Indians who are ill at ease in mastering cutting edge submarine technology.

Anonymous said...

The Mirage has a remarkable safety record up until now. Wonder if the Air Marshal screwed up with his rusty skills and took this aircraft for a joyride!!! A detailed investigation by someone other than the IAF is due here for answers! An IAF investigation will chalk this up to a technical malfunction where in fact it could be pilot error!

Abhiman said...

It puzzles me as to why doesn't the IAF order 40 more Tejas Mk.1s in addition to the 40 already ordered.

The Tejas Mk.1 -- even in its current form -- is far superior to any MiG or Mirage currently in IAF's fleet.

So IAF can induct the Tejas Mk.1s ASAP. Smaller issues in it can be resolved later on but induct them first !

Anonymous said...

A jet engine could flame out at any time and in a single-engine fighter there is nothing one can do except eject, if successive relight attempts also fail. One has to decide early enough to 'punch out' and not delay this decision.
Attempting a 'dead stick' landing would be a very tricky proposition, unless one is above the runway and has sufficient height. The gliding characteristics of a fighter with a delta-wing planform being what it is, it should be attempted only by very experienced pilots. Wonder if it has ever been attempted even by test pilots on a Mirage-2000.
Fuel starvation due to blockages or other problems with the fuel booster pumps could be a probable cause. Only a CoI would be able to determine the exact cause.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe that IAF is the only airforce in the world to face so many technical snags in their aircrafts, stop blaming the aircrafts & find some solution. These mega expensive machines are bought from our hard earned money, so pls respect the contribution of tax payers. First it was Migs, then Jagaurs, then Su30s & finally it's mirage now!! Wait until 2015 & u will see brand new Rafael's ending up in paddy fields.

Anonymous said...

Good the chutes worked this time.

Anonymous said...

Was the crashed aircraft part of the newer lot of dozen odd new trainers purchased ? If yes that would be really sad........

Mirages are very reliable machines....I think this is the first one lost for technical reasons.....but one can only guess in such matters.........

Anonymous said...

will it affect the prospects of rafale

Anonymous said...

HAL Maintenance Rock.

Soon rafale will also have that same kind of maintenance by HAL.

All the best for rafale manufactured by HAL....
hahhahaa...

Regards,
TAX PAYER

Anonymous said...

had read somewhere earlier about the mandates about senior officers flying fighters while on visits to bases they command. I guess such an attempt had resulted in an accident in the past. I guess there should be the mandate to take a refresher before flying the fighter

Anonymous said...

The LCA programme (acquisition of GE 414 engines)
should be accelerated now. Several LCAs especially the Mk-2 version could not only compensate for the falling Mig series of aircraft but also for such incidental crashes.These higher end fighter jets are quite pricey and such losses could have a colossal impact on defence spending in years to come.Tejas is a cost effective option for the IAF and has to be inducted in large numbers.

Gautam said...

Instead of trying to skimp on money so they can buy more VIP jets the UPA netas and babus should consider adding new engines to the Mirage-2000 upgrade deal.

To save money the Mirage-2000 deal does not cover new engines, they are still flying with the original engines they received 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Crash? it is a planned cost reduction initiative. Fewer planes to maintain, fewer pilots required and no need now to pay for at least 2 upgrades. Besides, the ejection seat needs to be tested..for real.