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Old 2nd February 2019, 11:38   #16
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Default re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

A very sad event and only a COI will reveal what actually happened.

A Test Pilot’s Unmissable View On Yesterday’s Mirage 2000 Tragedy

Quote:
What Sources Reveal

The aircraft was on a test flight in ‘heavy’ configuration with drop tanks. Soon after unstick (high speed, when the aircraft lifts off from the runway), there has been some event which forced the aircraft back onto the runway. There is no such thing as a safe ‘Reject Takeoff’ after unstick. So the TPs must have had to make split-second decisions – something crew of that Mirage were well trained to do. The main landing gear (MLG) reportedly collapsed on impact and the aircraft careened on the runway till it tore through the arrester barrier at other end of the runway.

As per reports, the aircraft skidded on its belly/drop-tanks, maintaining almost centreline alignment till barrier engagement at the opposite dumbell. This is not surprising. Test pilots don’t earn their graduation badges easy. They are top-of-the-game aviators. Samir and Siddharth were just seven months into their TP career. Freshly-minted but with more than adequate experience and apex skills that differentiate boys from men.

What Can be Inferred
News reports and official press releases indicate that both pilots ejected. They seem to have ejected after going through the arrester barrier. That’s a significant detail. Arrester barriers are terrible speed breakers; there for a reason.

At least one of them (Sqn Ldr Siddharth Negi, as per sources) landed on the flaming debris with his parachute. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol also touched down within the explosion zone of the aircraft that went up in flames. This indicates ejection at slow speed, possibly after barrier engagement when momentum of the ill-fated aircraft was dissipated to a large extent. It is not clear whether any SGA (Soft Ground Arrester) or clearway helped break the aircraft momentum.

Any premature inferences pointing towards “pilots ejected but landed on the flaming debris and died” must be treated with circumspection. Pilots ejecting out of a Mirage 2000 careening at over 200 kmph with a ‘zero-zero’ ejection seat cannot accurately rendezvous the flaming debris unless certain conditions, not in their control, are met. This the Court of Inquiry already underway will hopefully unearth.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 10:53   #17
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Default Admiral Arun Prakash, former Navy Chief, asks some Hard Hitting Questions

Former Navy Chief, Admiral Arun Prakash who is a naval aviator himself and a decorated officer has tweeted that the military has for decades flown poor quality HAL machines and often paid with young lives.
To quote him here
Quote:
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.
A second tweet from him questions Defence PSUs and their accountability.
Quote:
HAL-bashing may be justified up to a point, but time to question our elected reps too. 35 defence ministers have overseen this giant DPSU since 1947. While pampering its unions, none demanded quality, productivity & aeronautical innovation of HAL. Or hand-picked a dynamic CEO
He's angry, and understandably so. He's fought for the nation and probably stared death in the face. If one loses not because of lack of courage or inferior training but because of unreliable equipment, anyone would be. Here's a military aviator, decorated for gallantry in the 1971 War, justifiably asking some hard hitting questions. It's to be seen whether they'll be answered, or will be pushed aside in the labyrinthine bureaucracy and blame shuffling among the powers that be.

There's some clamour for accountability from HAL, but after a while, I fear the brouhaha will die down, no one will be held accountable, much less punished and only pain and a gnawing sense of loss will remain for the family and loved ones of the departed. The forces will continue to train hard though the man or woman in uniform will be left to face the enemy with overpriced, unreliable relics handed down from these nameless unaccountable entities.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 12:52   #18
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

I read somewhere it was undercarriage failure. Shame on HAL.

I am glad Dassault gave the the cold shoulder. Test Pilots are the best of the best. Losing two is unacceptable.

Should the HAL and the like not be wound up! Privatize defence industry!
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Old 3rd February 2019, 21:47   #19
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

For those who are jumping to conclusions and blaming everything on HAL, here's a report by defence journalist Vishnu Som who's also a team-bhpian:


Quote:
"Bet My Life On The Jet": HAL Test Pilots Hit Back After IAF Mirage Crash

Written by Vishnu Som | Updated: February 03, 2019 19:33 IST

"Before an aircraft goes to the IAF, its standards are good enough for me to bet my life on it."

"Remember, every pilot in the IAF is also betting his life on my judgement."

Strong words from a senior Hindustan Aeronautics Limited test pilot who flew and handed over the very same Mirage 2000 fighter that crashed on its take-off run on Friday in Bengaluru.

Two young Indian Air Force pilots, 33-year-old Squadron Leader Samir Abrol and 31-year-old Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi were killed in the crash even though they had been able to eject as the French-designed jet careened down the runway, broke through a barrier and a wall before exploding at about 10:25 am that morning.

Describing the circumstances of the crash in a note which has been circulated, the HAL test pilot, a senior retired IAF officer himself, recalled the immediate moments after the accident.

The officer, who NDTV reached out to, does not want to be identified since the investigations are still on.

"I was eye witness to the accident. Also part of the bunch of guys who reached the crash site first. Was impressed by some HAL civilians risking their lives to pull out the pilot from the burning wreckage. Unfortunately, he had not survived the impact. The other pilot had fallen clear of the wreckage. When we reached him, he was still breathing, but unconscious. To me, it looked like he would make it. But internal injuries claimed him on the way to hospital," he said.

The unofficial reaction by the HAL test pilot, comes at a time when HAL has been repeatedly targeted in the media and online for delivering a faulty jet to the Indian Air Force. The two officers, who were killed, were part of the IAF's Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and were flying acceptance sorties before handing over the fighter to one of the three Mirage 2000 squadrons in the force.

"We are a part of the same team. The Air Force's loss is my loss," said the HAL test pilot who also pointed out that there was nothing wrong with the fighter jet in previous test flights.

''In this particular case, we had finished testing and handed over the aircraft to ASTE. The first sortie [was] flown by late [Squadron Leader] Abrol. [He] had only three words of debrief over the phone 'Everything OK sir'."

The ill-fated sortie "was to be flown with a target aircraft to check radar performance. A comparatively benign [flight] profile. The accident happened on [the] take off roll."

NDTV has independently learned that the ill-fated Mirage 2000 had been flown successfully six times by HAL test pilots who had certified the French-designed fighter which is being comprehensively upgraded in India. In 2011-2012, India had signed a Rs. 17,547 crore deal (inclusive of new weapons) with France to transform the capabilities of the Mirage which played a stellar role during the Kargil war by striking targets on Tiger Hill and elsewhere using laser guided bombs. Two of the fighters were upgraded by Dassault, the French manufacturer of the fighter, in France while the remaining 47 fighters are being upgraded by Hindustan Aeronautics in Bengaluru.

Pointing out that there could be multiple causes for the accident, the HAL test pilot said, ''There could be any number of reasons ranging from technical defect, maintenance failure to pilot error. As of now, there are more questions than answers."

"As far as HAL producing sub-standard aircraft, remember that we fly these aircraft to its limits before anyone from [the] IAF touches it."

An Indian Air Force Court of Inquiry is looking into the circumstances of the Mirage 2000 crash last Friday. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is part of the investigating team.
Link to report here:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bet-...om=home-livetv
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Old 4th February 2019, 09:29   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Should the HAL and the like not be wound up! Privatize defence industry!
I don't have a lot of knowledge on the competence of HAL so will refrain on commenting on their role in this crash.

But on the topic of privatisation of the Defence industry. Here's my rebuttal: can we confidently assume/expect a private company to keep the nation's interest ahead. Again, not an expert on the subject, but we aren't quite the society to put the nation first. Are you sure a private company wouldn't focus profits over the needs of the nation's defence forces?

I am all for accountability, especially when lives of those who protect us are at stake. But I absolutely won't trust a private corporation to cater to the nation's defence needs. For instance. Anil Ambani's group is bidding for some defence contracts, isn't it. Look at how his other businesses are in terrible shambles. We are supposed to trust this chap with protecting our country?
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:25   #21
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

The loss of two promising lives is a grave tragedy

Right now, the COI will investigate and provide the cause of the crash. As it happened within a secure perimeter, a significant amount of the evidence will have been preserved.

What does disgust me is the political noise - I get posts from blind supporters justifying the Dassault deal and vilifying HAL. Let judgements be based on evidence and not the incident!

Last edited by ajmat : 4th February 2019 at 10:56.
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Old 4th February 2019, 10:53   #22
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
For those who are jumping to conclusions and blaming everything on HAL, here's a report by defence journalist Vishnu Som who's also a team-bhpian:




Link to report here:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bet-...om=home-livetv

The article is bang on target. Frankly, I feel the criticism HAL's been receiving recently in the backdrop of the Rafale fiasco is too harsh.

What if poor HAL QC during assembly of that ill fated Mirage was not the cause of the crash? I think we all should wait for the CoI to come out with the results before bashing HAL, ASTE or other organisations linked with HAL.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:06   #23
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
can we confidently assume/expect a private company to keep the nation's interest ahead. [...] Are you sure a private company wouldn't focus profits over the needs of the nation's defence forces?
Same can be said of PSUs too - of putting profits above everything else. The way to get companies - private, public, government etc. - to deliver what you want is to contractually obligate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
For instance. Anil Ambani's group is bidding for some defence contracts, isn't it. Look at how his other businesses are in terrible shambles. We are supposed to trust this chap with protecting our country?
Not specifically targeting you, but this is often cited as a reason why entrepreneurship doesn't pervade in India - failure is ridiculed and shamed. ADAG also runs other companies that have been quite successful, but his name I guess is going to be forever associated with the bankruptcy of Reliance Telecom.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:19   #24
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

I think more ancillary/private parties need to be fostered with PSUs still being in control. I think the main the issue is related to management and political meddling. Just like ISRO, who wouldn't like to work on aircraft technologies ? Have collaborations with engineering institutes and make it attractive. The main responsibility and accountability still needs to be handled properly.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:30   #25
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I read somewhere it was undercarriage failure. Shame on HAL.

I am glad Dassault gave the the cold shoulder. Test Pilots are the best of the best. Losing two is unacceptable.

Should the HAL and the like not be wound up! Privatize defence industry!
You are right sir . Even MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar has tweeted about it.
Quote:
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

If families wnt accoutblty frm HAL - wll ensure legal spprt for thm @FlagsOfHonour
Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
For those who are jumping to conclusions and blaming everything on HAL, here's a report by defence journalist Vishnu Som who's also a team-bhpian:

Link to report here:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bet-...om=home-livetv
Right. So after the ex Air Force test pilots (employed by HAL), give a lengthy piece in the media, everybody thinks why we should question HAL. Public memory is extremely short, and after the clouds blow over, it'll be business as usual with not a care in the world. Has anyone considered the possibility that this piece may have been released on the behest of HAL to soften the brickbats that are headed their way. These are HAL employees after all. And quoting from the article
Quote:
Pointing out that there could be multiple causes for the accident, the HAL test pilot said, ''There could be any number of reasons ranging from technical defect, maintenance failure to pilot error. As of now, there are more questions than answers."
Technical Defect, Maintenance failure - The aircraft was with HAL for a comprehensive upgrade. Guess who was responsible for maintenance. And Technical Defect? Why wasn't it detected and rectified before the aircraft rolled onto the tarmac.
Pilot Error - I don't think a wheel coming off the aircraft can be construed as Pilot Error. Can it?
Here's an article on what is the Air Force's take on HAL, and a stronlgly worded article about the state of affairs at HAL, and another that points on the Air Force Veterans' opinion on the same. It's not about HAL bashing, but putting right something that's wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I don't have a lot of knowledge on the competence of HAL so will refrain on commenting on their role in this crash.

But on the topic of privatisation of the Defence industry. Here's my rebuttal: can we confidently assume/expect a private company to keep the nation's interest ahead. Again, not an expert on the subject, but we aren't quite the society to put the nation first. Are you sure a private company wouldn't focus profits over the needs of the nation's defence forces?

I am all for accountability, especially when lives of those who protect us are at stake. But I absolutely won't trust a private corporation to cater to the nation's defence needs. For instance. Anil Ambani's group is bidding for some defence contracts, isn't it. Look at how his other businesses are in terrible shambles. We are supposed to trust this chap with protecting our country?
There are many entities in the private industry that are making world class products related to defence. From fuselages for AH64 Apache to cabins for Sikorsky Helicopters, to Sonars, to advanced night vision devices, to artillery guns to many others outbidding and outperforming many global entities. The shift to procurement from private industry under Make in India is evident from the news that emerges now and then.
Quoting from an article in the print
Quote:
Did anybody tell you that ‘Marine One’, the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter that the US President flies, has a cabin made in Hyderabad by a Tata company? It’s a direct joint venture, not a result of gifted offsets. The company is now growing into making cabins for Chinooks and Apaches for the global supply chain. The best in the world are acknowledging the strength of the Indian private sector. It’s just that we aren’t.
To say that the private sector lacks the capability, commitment or vision may not be accurate. In developed countries, defence production is done by private entities. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Nexter, BAE Systems, Thales, Raytheon, Saab, Rhinemetall, Rafael, IWI, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Dassault are some giants that are entirely private and have delivered consistently to their customers. Being the largest arms importer in the world, it is only logical and incumbent that the private industry be allowed to produce equipment for India's Defence Forces. It'll serve the twin purpose of employment generation while also making the private industry competitive in the $ 100 bn global arms trade. Also, it'll up the competition and free the forces to choose from the best in the world, something that Defence PSUs like HAL and Ordnance Factories have not been able to offer.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:31   #26
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Well, I'm not a hyperlocalite but can only look at Google Earth
Got nothing to do with anything 'hyper' just a basic, verifiable fact that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by am1m View Post
...for 4 decades (and long before that, ever since HAL was started) that area has been inhabited by civilians and there hasn't been an incident that put civilian lives at risk.
Will there never be an incident ever in the future? Who can say?! All I'm saying is that let's not overreact here by 'looking at Google Earth' and speculating without waiting for the facts.

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Unless I'm mistaken Aero India was more or less ruled out at HAL for a variety of reasons including this one coupled with the very real danger of birdstrikes.
Interesting. As far as I remember it's always been held at Yelahanka Air Force Base. I assume that's because of the size, security requirements and access to the venue. Since I have no source for the reasons for deciding the venue (apart from Google Earth, I guess ) I don't know about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
...everybody thinks why we should question HAL.
At this point I don't think there are too many people who will say HAL is doing a great job. Too many credible sources have stated the opposite, so certainly alternatives need to be found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
There are many entities in the private industry that are making world class products related to defence.
Absolutely. BUT we all know the private sector conglomerate that is most likely to get the deals taken away from HAL. And personally, given their track record, I think it would be silly to 'rely' on them for something as crucial as defence!

Last edited by am1m : 4th February 2019 at 11:48.
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Old 4th February 2019, 17:57   #27
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I don't have a lot of knowledge on the competence of HAL so will refrain on commenting on their role in this crash.

But on the topic of privatisation of the Defence industry. Here's my rebuttal: can we confidently assume/expect a private company to keep the nation's interest ahead. Again, not an expert on the subject, but we aren't quite the society to put the nation first. Are you sure a private company wouldn't focus profits over the needs of the nation's defence forces?

I am all for accountability, especially when lives of those who protect us are at stake. But I absolutely won't trust a private corporation to cater to the nation's defence needs. For instance. Anil Ambani's group is bidding for some defence contracts, isn't it. Look at how his other businesses are in terrible shambles. We are supposed to trust this chap with protecting our country?
A private entity is more viable because of three reasons primarily:

1) They have ownership and their success depends on this.
2) They are accountable, tying in with the first point and they have to answer for everything related to their operation.
3) They are dispensable, the Govt. is not responsible for their survival

In case of HAL there is no accountability and everything is swept under the carpet. The inefficiency is criminal, this is an organisation with more than 32,000 employees with dismal results to show for.

The Sukhoi corporation that makes fighters, civilian aircraft, drones etc. and still very much a public institution has about 26k employees. Notice the irony here? I am very sure Sukhoi's salary/benefits outlay will be much lower than HALs.

HAL will not be successful, the last 2 decades are proof of the same. Despite this the public has to foot the bill for this lethargic behemoth. Why? The lack of preparedness and it's absolute inability to support the Air defence requirements of the nation, especially in a war environment is both dangerous and doomed for failure.

Rant over, as nothing will change. A new Government takes over and go wax lyrical over 'HAL's' achievements, the same cycle repeats all over again.
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Old 4th February 2019, 18:40   #28
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

We all don't know what exactly happened. The loss of 2 of our best Pilots is very saddening, May their souls RIP!

But without the COI completing it's investigation let's not point fingers at HAL. True that over the years HAL has been a laggard but they do have a lot of foreign clients who trust in their ability to deliver. I guess HAL has not been consistent due to the apathy shown by the MoD & IAF which is it's major client and there could be vested interests behind that.

Our LCA Tejas was supposed to replace the ageing MiG 21s but the IAF was not very keen to induct the same in to their fleet. The changing of specifications and their demands for incorporating more features hasn't helped in speeding up deliveries. Our ex Defense Min Manohar Parikkar was very keen to get the LCA inducted but sadly he was shifted out to Goa as CM. I have heard from a very Sr Ex IAF officer that once you reach a certain rank your promotions depends solely on your connections and are not always on merit. The bureaucrats in the MoD is always for buying weapons from abroad for the fat commissions they can wring out of it. So the MoD & the Politicians in the ruling dispensation are always hand in glove with middleman who always keeps everyone happy by paying them their due. The IAF top brass has to play along and give necessary approvals else they will find the going very tough. if you carefully observe the kind of statements made by our Air & Army Chiefs over the last few months it is very clear that they toe the Govt line.

Anyways I thought the previous Govt & IAF had selected Dassault since they were the L1 bidder after the MMRCA contest which was very exhaustive and impartial but now the present Govt is buying the same planes at an exorbitant rate. And observing the attempts to vilify HAL after this unfortunate incident points to a deliberate strategy to disparage HAL.

If the Govt was serious about it's much talked about Make in India they would have taken steps to make HAL sharper and more efficient. But unfortunately they chose to again go the import route for the goodies it offers. And the deal looks all the more suspicious considering the Pvt partner chosen by Dassault in India for the offset contracts and the fact that the Govt were buying only 36 planes when the IAF needed 126.

I wouldn't overlook a conspiracy angle to this unfortunate incident. I hope that there is a very thorough investigation and if HAL is found to be wanting I hope that the people responsible are made accountable.
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Old 5th February 2019, 14:49   #29
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
True that over the years HAL has been a laggard but they do have a lot of foreign clients who trust in their ability to deliver. I guess HAL has not been consistent due to the apathy shown by the MoD & IAF which is it's major client and there could be vested interests behind that.
Our LCA Tejas was supposed to replace the ageing MiG 21s but the IAF was not very keen to induct the same in to their fleet. The changing of specifications and their demands for incorporating more features hasn't helped in speeding up deliveries......
Not to debate about the capability or functioning of HAL, I would like to point out to some facts regarding the development of LCA and its associated engine, the Kaveri. Read about their timelines here and here. Both were delayed beyond acceptable limits.

And regarding the privatization or awarding defense contracts to private companies, I have a slightly different opinion. It should be the government's responsibility to ensure that the defense secrets of a country is kept safe. How US and other countries who use private contractors ensure this? Need to learn a thing or two from them.

I do not agree with the comments given by the HAL employee. A problem with an aircraft might not come to light with one or two or three test flights. There are umpteen number of examples in civil aviation as well as defense aviation where design deficiencies were identified at various stages like test flight, certification or after induction into service.
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Old 5th February 2019, 22:36   #30
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Default Re: Bangalore: 2 pilots killed in Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet crash

For all the Fan boys who want to hold HAL responsible for the crash. Hold your horses till the inquiry is complete. Lets beat them up once they are found guilty by the inquiry. Whatsapp culture of jumping into everything and casting judgments when there is absolutely no proof of anything is deplorable. The HAL test pilot is not a politician or an arm chair general just to defend HAL blindly. He risks his life and flies these machines, puts them through every possible test before handing them over to IAF. The failure could be any thing which unfortunately cost lives of two good men. RIP.


HAL was not surviving on public money, it was a navarathna company till some time back paying handsome dividends to GoI. But has fallen on hard times off late. One of the reasons could be...
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com...w/67450399.cms
or it could be indicating something else.
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