Trainer aircraft crashes, two pilots eject safely (Lead)

April 29th, 2011 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai/Bangalore, April 28 (IANS) Two test pilots of a trainer aircraft belonging to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) ejected to safety minutes before the plane crashed near a forest in Krishnagiri district of Karnataka Thursday, police said.

According to Krishnagiri police officials, the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) aircraft crashed in an area near the forest Thursday afternoon and the pilots have been rescued and flown back to Bangalore.

Police told IANS that the aircraft was totally damaged by fire and security personnel from HAL had reached the site, besides Tamil Nadu police.

In a statement issued in Bangalore, HAL said the IJT prototype aircraft was carrying out routine flight testing when it met with a mishap around 3.10 p.m.

“Both the test pilots on-board ejected safely. HAL has constituted a court of inquiry as is the case in such occurrences,” the statement said.

Company chairman Ashok Nayak said: “The crash took place near Hosur when the pilots were attempting a difficult manoeuvre. The two pilots ejected and are safe.”

The IJT has been designed and developed by HAL to replace the Kiran aircraft. The Kiran trainer aircraft were also designed and developed by HAL and have been in use since 1968.

Hosur is about 40 km from Bangalore.

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