Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet crashes in Nashik, pilots eject safely despite injuries

As mentioned by reliable sources, the ill-fated Sukhoi belonged to the IAF fleet but was undergoing routine overhaul and testing under the custody of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) when the incident occurred.

A heart-stopping scene unfolded in the skies over Nashik district of Maharashtra on Tuesday morning as an Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet went down in flames, with the two pilots making a dramatic ejection to safety.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the twin-seat multi-role jet spewing thick black smoke trailing behind it before crashing in an open field near Shirasgaon village around 10 am. The impact triggered a massive fireball, scattering debris across a 500-meter radius.

However, in what aviation experts are terming as nothing short of miraculous, both pilots – Wing Commander AS Bokil and Squadron Leader SK Biswas – managed to eject safely, albeit sustaining injuries in the process. They were quickly rescued and airlifted to a nearby HAL hospital for treatment.

As mentioned by reliable sources, the ill-fated Sukhoi belonged to the IAF fleet but was undergoing routine overhaul and testing under the custody of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) when the incident occurred.

The aircraft belongs to IAF as no one else operates it. It was on the inventory of HAL for overhaul and testing purposes. Post overhauling and testing, these are handed back to IAF for operations.

The IAF has initiated a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the precise cause behind the crash of the nuclear-capable air superiority fighter that forms the backbone of India’s airpower. Incidents of the massive twin-engine jets suffering mishaps have been a cause for concern over the years.

The incident has yet to unfold the amount of risk faced by the IAF pilots, who have to remain combat-ready and operate India’s most extensive fighter jets.