Hyderabad: Coming down the sky at a speed of about 250 knots (over 460 km per hour), a possible hydraulic failure in the Kiran MK-II plane in the last minute appears to be the possible cause which led to the crash of the aircraft today.
Surprisingly, though the Kiran MK-IIs are known to eject the pilot to safety even during zero speed (ground level), it failed to do so today raising doubts over the maintenance of the aircraft. The parachute reportedly failed to open in the nick of time.
Sources in the Indian Navy told Express that the two-seater Kiran MK-IIs, built by the Hindustan Aernoautics Limited which are also used by the Indian Air Force for training pilots, are designed to be rugged and sturdy aircrafts. “After performing the Y manoeuver, it was coming down at a speed of 250 knots and then again it had to regain the height before flying in a different direction. The fact that it could not regain height clearly means hydraulic failure in the plane due to which the pilot lost control,’’ sources said.
They said that despite the high speed and the possible hydraulic failure, the option before the pilots of ejecting out to safety was always there.
“These type of aircraft are designed to eject even at the ground level and the pilots are well-trained in ejecting themselves in emergency situations like the one today,’’ the officials said.
They explained that once the pilot presses the knob to eject, the cartridges under the seat are fired automatically, the glass canopy blows up and the pilot ejects to safety. “It appears that the parachute did not open in the last minute,’’ they said.
Based on the video footage of the aircraft, some of the officials present at the Begumpet air base were of the view that the pilots appeared to have tried to manoeuver the aircraft to minimise civilian damage.
“That is what all of us would have done in that position.
Even in our training, we are taught to ensure that in case of emergency, we should ensure no civilian deaths or loss to their properties,’’ they said.
“Due to the possible hydraulic failure, the pilots may have experienced weightlessness in the plane and at this juncture, they may have realised that a disaster was in the offing,’’ officials said.
Another surprising part was that top brass in the Defence Ministry had reportedly decided to replace Kiran MKIIs with HJT-36 aircrafts as the MK-IIs had turned very old.
“Politics within various wings in the Government delays such proposals. Even the Government does not wake up until incidents like these happen.