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Monday, February 22, 2010

NEWS FLASH - MiG-27s grounded, IAF orders checks


NEW DELHI: IAF has "grounded'' its MiG-27 fleet for checks after one of the 'swing-wing' strike fighters crashed in West Bengal on February 16. 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.

Incidentally, the over 100 MiG-27MLs in the IAF fleet were hardly flown in 2005-2006 after it was found that their R-29 engines were causing a large number of accidents.

The MiG-27 crash last week was soon followed by a MiG-21 going down near Bagdogra in West Bengal on February 20, as reported earlier. 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 minimize 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.''

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/MiG-27s-grounded-IAF-orders-checks/articleshow/5604534.cms

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