New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is facing a tough time as this month alone four planes have crashed in which two officers lost their lives. The series of back to back crashes has raised the question of maintenance of the IAF jets. Recently two pilots were killed in a Mirage 2000 crash in Bengaluru after which the public raised questions on the deteriorating condition of fighter jets and pilot safety in the country.

Here are the details of the latest jet crashes

February 19

Two aircraft of the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team crashed and pilots have ejected safely. The mid-air collision took place, just a day ahead of the official launch of Aero India 2019 at the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru. According to the officials, they were rehearsing for the Aero India show at the Bengaluru airbase. At the aero show, Surya Kiran jets were to make a comeback after eight years with a nine-aircraft formation.

Also read: Aero India 2019: Two IAF Surya Kiran jets crash at rehearsals in Bengaluru
February 12

A MiG 27 fighter aircraft crashed in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer. The crash took place near Pokharan range after the plane took off for a training mission from the Jaisalmer Air Force station. The crash happened just a few days ahead of Vayushakti 2019 exercise where MiG-27 would showcase its ground attack capabilities. The exercise took place on February 16 at Pokhran Air to Ground Armament range near Jaisalmer. Last year, a MiG 27 aircraft had crashed in Jodhpur, also in Rajasthan.
February 1

In the crash of an upgraded version of the Mirage-2000 fighter jet, country’s two most talented test pilots lost their lives. The Mirage-2000 was originally built by the French aerospace major Dassault Aviation and was upgraded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). When the ill-fated incident took place, the Mirage was being flight-tested by the pilots before giving consent for its operational use. The test pilots manning the ill-fated flight were Squadron Leader Samir Abrol and Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi, both alumni of the 40th Flight Test Course from the Air Force Test Pilots School at the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment in Bengaluru. Their deaths have sparked public outrage as people questioned the maintenance of Indian fighter jet.

Statement by IAF

Three pilots were occupants. Two pilots ejected and have been evacuated to the Command Hospital. Third pilot sustained fatal injuries.