New Delhi, February 15: Two Indian Air Force pilots were killed after a microlight aircraft they were flying in crashed in Majuli, Assam, on Thursday. The aircraft, which took off from Jorhat on a routine sortie, crashed in the river island around noon killing Wing Commander J James and Wing Commander D Vats.Also Read - Massive Fire Breaks Out in Assam's Karbi Anglong, Properties Worth Lakhs Gutted
“An Indian Air Force Microlight Virus SW-80 crashed around 1200 hrs today, after getting airborne from Air Force Station Jorhat, for a routine sortie,” the defence ministry said in a statement in New Delhi. Also Read - Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs Arrive In Goa, To Depart For Mumbai In Few Hours
Defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Harshvardhan Pande told PTI that the pilots attempted an emergency landing but the aircraft crashed in a sand bar and went up in flames. People from villages in the district spotted the aircraft going up in flames and informed the authorities. Also Read - Heavy Police Deployment At Goa Airport Ahead Of Sena Rebels' Landing
A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the ministry said.
The IAF had procured around 80 Slovenian-origin microlight aircraft about three years ago. They are usually deployed for environmental and bird recce missions, an IAF official said.
(With inputs from PTI)