When Super Hercules crash killed 2 Wing Commanders in 2014

The tragic chopper crash on Wednesday, which killed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 other military personnel near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, brings back memories of 2014 when senior officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were killed after the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were travelling in crashed near the Gwalior air base.

The crash killed all five IAF personnel onboard and the wreckage was strewn along the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border, near Karauli district in Rajasthan.

The IAF officers killed in the crash included Wing Commander Prashant Joshi, Wing Commander Raji Nair, Squadron Leader Kaushik Mishra, Squadron Leader Ashish Yadav (navigator) and Warrant Officer Krishnapal Singh (flight engineer), IAF officers said.

The aircraft had taken off from Agra for a routine flying training mission.

According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the incident, among the main reasons why the brand new C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft crashed was “inadequate training”.

“The investigation listed inadequate experience and training of the crew as one of reasons for the crash and recommended operationalisation of simulator for C-130 J30 at the earliest as one of the remedial measures,” the report stated.

Despite the installation of the simulator in December 2012, training could not be imparted for more than three-and-a-half years to pilots due to non-finalisation of usage contract, the report said.

“The simulator was installed but could not be put to use due to non-finalisation of usage rate contract by IAF. Usage rate contract was signed (in August 2016) and training on simulator actually commenced in November 2016,” the report said.

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