HAL under accountability cloud after Bengaluru Mirage crash

Squadron leaders Samir Abrol and Siddhartha Negi had died in the crash yesterday. Both were highly trained test pilots from Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) of India Air Force.

Published: 02nd February 2019 04:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2019 04:46 PM   |  A+A-

A still from a video grab shows smoke rising from the wreckage of the Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft after it crash landed in Bengaluru Friday Feb 1 2019. (Photo: PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: Former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash has sought accountability from the political leadership and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited brass after the crash of a Mirage-2000 fighter jet yesterday in Bengaluru killing two IAF pilots, providing fresh fuel to the fierce debate over the state-run aircraft maker's work ethics.

A naval aviator himself and a decorated officer, he tweeted that the military has for decades flown poor quality HAL machines and often paid with young lives.

"The Mirage was not flown by ordinary pilots; these were superbly trained ASTE test pilots. Mil (military) has for decades flown poor quality HAL machines and often paid with young lives but not recknoning for HAL management. Time to focus on the leadership and directors of this giant PSU," tweeted Prakash on the Mirage crash.

He also said that "HAL bashing may be justified to a point, but (it's) time to question elected reps (representatives) too. 35 defence ministers have overseen this giant DPSU since 1947. While pampering its union, none demanded quality, productivity & aeronautical innovation of HAL or hand-picked a dynamic CEO."

As the details of the crash emerge from independent accounts, the aircraft, which was on an acceptance sortie on Friday, after an upgrade by HAL, failed to take off.

ALSO READ: Mirage 2000 crashes at HAL airport in Bengaluru, both pilots dead

BJP MP Rajiv Chandrasekhar also tweeted that if families of the pilots want accountability from HAL, he would ensure legal support for them.

"My sources say aircraft was on 2nd acceptance airtest after upgrade. One oleo (wheel) came off during take-off (and) n it veered off runway. Plots ejected both parachutes caught fire in the debris of the aircraft. If families want accountability from HAL, will ensure legal help for them," tweeted Chandrasekhar.

Squadron leaders Samir Abrol and Siddhartha Negi had died in the crash yesterday. Both were highly trained test pilots from Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) of India Air Force.

The crash has reignited the issue of HAL's quality standards.

Navdeep Singh, a veteran, tweeted about a 2017 judgement of Delhi High Court in the case of fighter pilot wing commander Sanjeet Singh Kaila who became unfit to fly following a crash in 2005. The Centre and the HAL were asked to pay him a compensation of Rs 55 lakh. Of this, five lakh was to be paid by the Centre and the rest by HAL. The matter is pending in Supreme Court.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments(4)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Saurabh

    HAL is taking Public money and killing our pilots. There should be strict control over HAL. Break HAL into smaller pieces for public private participation units. That will be correct remedy for HAL.
    4 months ago reply
  • Sushanth

    Suggest they investigate the crash
    4 months ago reply
  • rahulthedumbass

    Rahulji
    4 months ago reply
  • Santa Banta

    Soldiers are expendable for this nation where union and political oneupmanship is the order of the day. These pappus and yechuris should be asked to fend for their on security.
    4 months ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp