DefenceExpress Correspondent 


Both pilots of the Su-30 aircraft that crashed after taking off from Tezpur Airbase in Assam on May 23 could not eject and sustained fatal injuries, the IAF today said. 


Sqn Ldr D Pankaj and Flt Lt S Achudev died inside the cockpit of the aircraft, the IAF said based on analysis of the Flight Data Recorder of the aircraft and certain other articles recovered from the crash site.



The wreckage of the aircraft was earlier located on May 26 in the thick forest area 60 Km from Tezpur. 


The front line aircraft that was part of the two squadrons deployed to guard the disputed border with China, had wend missing after it took off around 1030 h on 23 May.


The aircraft was on a routine training mission as part of a two aircraft formation.



The aircraft was declared overdue and Search and Rescue operations were launched to locate the aircraft and the pilots. Help from civil administration and military authorities was also sought to locate the aircraft. Aerial search was commenced based on the last known position of the Su-30 MKI. Incessant rain, dense clouds and difficult terrain hampered the search operations in air and on the ground.


A court of Inquiry has already been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.



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