The Mirage 2000, which was being flight-tested, crashed near the military airport in Bengaluru after it developed a technical snag and hit a wall.
New Delhi: The crash of an upgraded version of the Mirage 2000 fighter jet, in which two of the nation's most talented test pilots lost their lives, has left netizens fuming.
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 on Friday, the aircraft was being flight-tested by the pilots before consent could have been given for its operational use.
Following the crash, the defence public sector undertaking HAL came under fire on Twitter.
The Mirage was not being flown by ordinary pilots; these were superbly trained ASTE Test Pilots. Mil has, fr decades, flown poor quality HAL machines & often paid with young lives but no reckoning for HAL management. Time to focus on leadership & Directors of this giant PSU. https://t.co/RXOjy3MrYZ— Arun Prakash (@arunp2810) February 2, 2019
My sources say Aircrft was on 2nd acceptnce air test aftr upgrade. One oleo (wheel) came off durng takeoff n it veered off runway. Pilots ejected both parachutes caught fire in the debris of a/c— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@rajeev_mp) February 2, 2019
If families wnt accoutblty frm HAL - wll ensure legal spprt for thm @FlagsOfHonour https://t.co/s7hCKe1Hnc
HAL makes parts in multiple locations in India and not just Bengaluru. It should be investigated and all corrupt and inefficient units in India should be shut down and transferred to private companies as in other countries@nsitharaman— Murlidhar (@murlibhat) February 1, 2019
Yesterday Indian Air Force lost Sqn Ldrs Abrol and Negi during a test flight of Mirage 2000 upgraded by HAL— Lali (@LaliGanguli) February 2, 2019
RT if you agree
HAL has pretty much done "culpable homicide not amounting to murder" when most of all our IAF TEST PILOTS fly in UPGRADED COFFINS
Yes and these Mirage were @INCIndia purchased fighter crafts purchased from France being manufactured and upgraded by same HAL who allegedly has been sidelined for manufacturing Rafale. And now again the same @INCIndia @RahulGandhi stalled the purchase of Rafale for over 10years.— Nishant Jha (@nishant13jha) February 2, 2019
Who were the pilots
Squadron Leaders Samir Abrol and Siddhartha Negi succumbed to their injuries after the aircraft crashed near the military airport in Bengaluru. It was on an acceptance sortie following its upgrade by the HAL. Abrol from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and Negi from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, were commissioned into the Indian Air Force (IAF) a decade ago and were on deputation as test pilots at the IAF's Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE).
A look at Squadron Leader Abrol’s Facebook profile reflects his love for flying. In 2013, he wrote: “When the airplane makes a sudden noise, you think to yourself ‘Well, I lived a good life!’”
According to reports, Negi, who was nicknamed ‘Golden Boy’ in the Air Force, died on his birthday on Friday. He was one of the youngest test pilots our country had. He was in National Defence Academy (NDA) from 2005 to 2008. In June 2009, he was commissioned into the IAF. Negi was married to Dhruvika two years ago. She is also an officer in the IAF and posted in Bangalore.
HAL regretted the Mirage 2000 fighter jet crash.
“HAL expresses condolences to the grief-stricken families of the two pilots. The company has initiated an inquiry into the accident in coordination with the IAF,” the company said.
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Last Updated Feb 2, 2019, 3:48 PM IST