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Aero India 2015: Human Factor Behind Su-30 MKI Crash

\'Human factor\' was responsible for the crash of the Su-30 MKI that led to the grounding of the entire fleet of India\'s frontline fighter plane.

Published: 19th February 2015 04:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2015 04:30 PM   |  A+A-

PTI-SU-Fighter-Aero-India

An SU-30 fighter aircraft lands after the performance during the 2nd day of the AERO India 2015 at Yelahanka Air base in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI)

By PTI

BENGALURU: "Human factor" was responsible for the crash of the Su-30 MKI in October last year that led to the grounding of the entire fleet of India's frontline fighter plane for a month, according to the manufacturer.

"Out stand is human factor," said Vitaly Borodich, Vice President (Military Sales) of Russia's Irkut Corporation.

Irkut is the subsidiary of Russia's state-run United Aircraft Corporation which is the umbrella organization of the country's aerospace industry.

Borodich said that the Indian Air Force has also accepted that it is a human factor.

"They (IAF) do accept and therefore the aircraft is in operation," he said briefing a group of journalists on the sidelines of the Aero India air show here.

The Indian Air Force had ordered a Court of Inquiry in to the crash but a final report is yet to come out.

Russian experts, including Borodich, had flown down to help in the enquiry.

Borodich said the Russian stand has come after a thorough study of all record and technical inspection.

The IAF has claimed that the crash happened due to the "automatic ejection" of the pilot seat while landing near Pune in October.

Following the crash, the entire fleet was grounded for a month before being allowed to fly back again in November.

It was the longest period for which the fleet was grounded since 2009 when its operation was suspended for nearly three weeks following an accident.

The aircraft was being flown by two officers - Wing Commander Sidharth Vishwas Munje and Flying Officer Anup Singh– when the crash happened.

Wing Commander Munje, who was the senior pilot on the aircraft, had been involved in the first ever crash of a Su30 fighter in 2009 when his co-pilot was killed.

The court of inquiry into the crash had found that the officer had mistakenly switched off the fly by wire systems of the fighter, causing the crash.

While a design change was made by putting a sheath on the fly by wire switch to prevent any further such incident, it was found that the co-pilot died as an ejection seat harness broke due to excessive exposure from the sun.

India has a total of 272 SU 30 MKIs on order, making it the largest operator of the fighter type in the world. The Su 30 is also IAF's most modern fighter jet tasked with frontline duties.

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