India grounds MiG-27 strike fighters after crash

  • 12:00 AM, February 23, 2010
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India grounds MiG-27 strike fighters after crash
Indian Air Force(IAF) has grounded its MiG-27 fleet for checks after one of the swing-wing strike fighters crashed in West Bengal on February 16, according to news published in a leading Indian news paper. Preliminary reports indicate the failure of low-pressure turbine blades, which is not in the realm of day-to-day servicing and maintenance, led to the mishap. The MiG-27 crash last week was soon followed by a MiG-21 going down near Bagdogra in West Bengal on February 20 according to news report. Ageing MiG variants, which constitute the bulk of India’s combat fleet, shoddy maintenance and inadequate training to rookie pilots, have all contributed to the high crash rate in IAF. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, on his part, said, "For us, the accidents are not only a matter of grave concern, but they also pain us deeply since lives are lost". Maintaining that IAF is constantly taking steps to minimise mishaps, he said, "Accidents are bound to happen. Nobody has ever had zero accidents. But we, as an organisation, must ensure that the operational efficiency and morale is not degraded".
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