Quality of Indian Air Force Pilots?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Sunder singh, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    Dear members leaving apart blind nationalism or respect to our airforce i just want to know the quality of our fighter pilots or war prepardeness of our airforce with contant news coming every now and then mishaps even in peace time like:
    1. we lost more jets in peace rather then in war.
    2. Study show Most of crashes are due to human error but we are reluctant to put or mistakes on mig 21.
    3. then when we started crashing Mirage, Jags, and even SU 30 MKIs then we say we lack good modern trainner.
    4. In Kargil war or jets were shoot down by man pads.
    5. what will our air men complain if New acquired Raphales start falling then FAGA starts Falling.

    Is the machine important or the man behind machine some time i feel their is some problem in entire selection or even trainning
    wat do you think Please keep emotions of nationalism away.
    thank you.
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Quality of indian Airforce pilots ?

    I cannot comment on all the points, but regarding Mig 21 crashes, most of them were due to two reasons mainly,

    1. Faulty spares- with the breakup of the USSR, MOD was forced to source spares from across the globe to keep the plane flying as it was the mainstay of the IAF. This led to low quality spares entering in the system.

    2. Flying the aircraft beyond their designed flying hours. The Mig 21s should have been retired in the 90s.
     
  4. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    @ sob
    many airforce in world still use mig 21 and investigation most crashes were due to human error
     
  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    1. Cheap spares from east block for most of the MIGs including 23/27/29..

    2. Its a disgusting effort to put spare issue behind the scene..

    3. Yes, Its very strange indeed, suddenly out of now where our Mirages start crashing after Rafale won MRCA competition..

    4. IAF was sleeping, All the fighters and Helos were without flair and chaffs countermeasures, despite that they dodge MANPAD on many occasions..

    5. If that happen, Its normal coz Its an aircraft and human & technical errors do occur..
     
  6. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    If you check, IAF operate many kinds of MIG-21 and all have different spares..

    Only one kind have spares made by HAL and its now retired..

     
  7. EzioAltaïr

    EzioAltaïr Regular Member

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    Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't think they are a logical standard to compare ourselves with. Those airforces all belong to smaller countries, and most MiG 21s are being phased out anyway.

    The MiG 21 has crashed 116 times, more than 80 of these crashes were after 1990, the precise year when their service life should have ended. If the LCA would have moved faster, these deaths would probably be avoided.

    Can you show a link about the investigations?
     
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  8. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    45% of IAF air crashes due to human error
    PTI Apr 18, 2010, 09.16am IST
    NEW DELHI: A whopping 45% of IAF air crashes in the last six years have taken place due to human
    error.
    The IAF has informed the parliamentary committee on defence that it had recorded a total of 74 air
    mishaps between April 2004 and March 2010, of which a high of 42% was due to technical faults in
    the aircraft and a mere 6% due to bird-hit.
    The figures in percentage would mean the IAF has suffered 33 crashes out of 74 due to human errors,
    31 due to technical errors in the aircraft and another 4 due to bird hit. Reasons for the remaining
    six crashes have not been given to the committee.
    The committee, in its latest report submitted to Parliament, noted with concern that these mishaps
    were taking place in the backdrop of the IAF facing a crisis due to shortage of trainer aircraft and
    obsolescence of simulators for its pilot trainees.
    It pointed out with concern that the IAF's Hindustan Piston Trainer-32, a basic trainer aircraft, had
    remained grounded for over a year now following a mishap early last year and the Kiran Mk-II
    HJT-16 simulators were in disuse.
    The committee, headed by Congress MP Satpal Maharaj, said the Defence Ministry should take all
    steps to acquire new trainer aircraft and upgrade the simulators "so that adequate training is
    provided for pilots, which would definitely result in reduction of accidents due to human failure."
    The IAF has faced problems with HPT-32's engine and airframe, even as it spared all its Kiran
    trainers (usually used for secondary flying training) to enable rookie pilots to learn flying skills.
    It also had a gap in its training syllabus due to the lack of an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) when pilots
    moved on from Kiran aircraft to MiG-21 supersonic fighter jets.
    After a protracted process lasting 20 years, the IAF contracted to buy 66 BAE's Hawk AJTs in 2004
    and the first lot were inducted for training pilots in 2008.
     
  9. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-04-18/india/28148215_1_human-error-iaf-air-crashes-pilots
     
  10. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Most of the airforces with Mig 21s are much smaller airforce and fly lesser number of hours as compared to IAF.

    also please check that the crash rate of Mig 21Bis is lower than the earlier Migs.
     
  11. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    ^^ ya but even mig 21 bis are crashing wat about su 30, jags, mirage no one left
     
  12. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    Indian Air Force lost half of MiG fighter jets in deadly crashes.

    The tendency of MiG aircraft to come crashing down - right from the time it became the backbone of the Indian Air Force over four decades ago - earned the fighter jet epithets such as "flying coffin" and "widow-maker".
    On Wednesday, figures divulged by defence minister A.K. Antony in Parliament reinforced in numerical
    terms how the ageing Soviet-era fleet had shockingly been on a wing and a prayer for such a long period but still not grounded.
    The Rajya Sabha was informed that over the past 40 years, India had lost more than half of its MiG combat fleet of 872 aircraft. The minister disclosed that "482 MiG aircraft accidents took place till April 19, 2012".
    Antony also revealed that these crashes led to the loss of precious lives of 171 pilots, 39 civilians and eight persons from other services. The minister went on to state that the cause of the accidents were "both human error and technical defects".
    The revelation in Parliament was damning enough to evoke an immediate response from experts. "The Indian Air Force has lost several talented pilots, senior and junior, thanks to the flying coffin that the MiGs are. It is very easy for officers on the ground conducting inquiries to blame pilots and the human
    element after each crash. But each IAF pilot puts his life at stake from day one," a retired Wing Commander from Pune said.
    Drawing a comparison with Pakistan, which is not exactly in the pink of health financially, another IAF officer said the neighbouring country does not have such a high incidence of young fighter pilots losing their lives as they have been flying more sophisticated fighter jets for years now. "Each time a MiG goes down, people talk of millions and billions of rupees getting lost, but there is no value for a pilot's life," the officer observed.
    Notwithstanding such overwhelming evidence against its frontline fleet, the IAF was of the view that not much should be read into the numbers because MiGs were the only aircraft flown for most of the time. It also asserted that "serious efforts" had gone into bringing the crash rate considerably down.
    Former vice chief of air staff Pranab Kumar Barbora said that while it was a fact that the IAF has lost many MiGs and quite a few pilots, the rate of accidents in the context of the number of flying hours had been reduced substantially. Air Marshal Barbora, who had flown a MiG-21 just before he retired in 2010,
    maintained that it was a fantastic aircraft even as its high landing speed (around 340 kmph for some variants) made it slightly tricky to handle. He said no aircraft was offered for flying in the IAF without any kind of serviceability.
    Air Marshal (retd) T.S. Randhawa, who was the director general of inspection and safety, said the IAF dealt with accidents with utmost seriousness and a concerted all-round effort was being made to ensure that the crash rate came down. "The number of accidents doesn't tell the real story," he said.
    It, however, indicates the problem of shortage of aircraft. The IAF's fighter fleet strength currently stands at 34 squadrons. According to the force's
    calculations, the number will further dip to 31 in the coming years and it would not reach the desired levelsof 42 squadrons before 2027.
    This is essentially owing to delays in getting replacements for ageing planes. The parliamentary standing committee took note of these shortages in its
    recent report, highlighting the fact that the MiG fleet was "overstretched".
    The first MiG was bought by the country in 1966.
    Since then, the IAF has been flying various variants of the fighter jet. Different versions of the MiG-21 are still in service out of which the T-69/69B (trainer), T-75 (BIS) and (Bison), T-77 (Badal) and T-96 (Trishul) have been flying for more than 40 years.
    While the IAF has grounded the MiG-23MF, MiG-23BN and MiG-25, the MiG-27 and 29 have still got more than 25 years of life.
    The air force has already begun phasing out MiG-21s in batches and they would be out of service by the end of the decade. The MiG-27s will be phased out next and the MiG-29s are being upgraded. All these
    aircraft are stationed at frontline bases across the country - from Hashimara in the east to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in the west.
    The MiG-21 is a particularly difficult aircraft to manoeuvre because of its high-speed landing and restricted runway visibility owing to the canopy design. Since it is a single-engine aircraft, bird-hits tend to affect it more. Environmental factors peculiar to Indian conditions, too, impact the aircraft.
    "As a senior pilot, I have trained several juniors on the MiGs and we have faced problems. But in keeping with the unwritten code of the armed forces, we could never point out shortcomings in the aircraft," the retired Wing Commander said.
    "It is an established fact that several young IAF pilots lost their lives because they were not willing to eject despite engine flameouts. Nobody ever cares about these factors as the super bosses have their own point to prove - that MiGs are very safe and airworthy," another officer pointed out sarcastically.
    It is difficult to calculate the cost of the entire MiG fleet since various versions of the jet have been bought over a period of 40 years. The latest variant, called Bison, is estimated to be worth Rs20 crore.
    The IAF has over 100 operational Bisons. Furthermore, the cost of upgrade of the MiG-29s alone will
    amount be around US $940 million.
     
  13. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    The India Air Force has the worst crash record in the world
    August 18 2010 at 8:17
    Its report publish in 2009.
    According to statistical data available from multiple sources the Indian Air Force (IAF) has the dubious distinction of having the highest crash rate in the
    world. No other Air Foce comes close. Bharat has a tender bid open to purchase 126 brand spanking new Aircrafts from some of the best plane
    manufacturers in the world. Delhi has been able to maintain the ignominious distinction of having the worst track record in the word. If the current crash
    rates continue, it can crash all of its new hardware in 5 to 10 years.
    An anonymous American analyst said the following This is really unacceptable. Some heads should roll over this, and frankly this insane crash rate is making
    the IAF the laughing stock of airforces around the world.
    Some salient facts about the crashes with references.
    * India, using mostly Russian aircraft, has an accident rate of 6-7 per 100,000 hours flown (compared to 4-5 for all NATO air forces.)
    * The Indian rate had been over ten for many years, and it is still that high, and often higher, with other nations (including Russia and China), that use
    Russian aircraft designs.
    * F-15s and F-16s have an accident rate of 3-4 per 100,000 flight hours.
    * World Record: 500th Flying coffin crashes
    * 1970-2005: IAF has recorded around 700 crashes since 1970, with around 180 pilots and scores of civilians on the ground losing their lives Publication:
    The Times of India, Date: Monday, September 4 2006
    * 1970-2005: f the 793 MiG-21s progressively inducted in IAF since 1963, 330 have been lost in accidents. The Times of India, Date: Monday, September 4 2006
    Most of the crashes have been attributed to pilot incompetence and a lack of training. Another major factor pointed out by the Russians is the fact that Bhrat insisted on using poorly manufactured local parts. After several hundred Migs had crashed, the IAF blamed the manufacturer of a faulty fuel pump.
    According to the IAF the breakdown in 2005 is as follows. 40%; human error (servicing) 2%; technical defects 41%; bird hits 9%; unresolved 6%; and others
    2%.
     
  14. Sunder singh

    Sunder singh Regular Member

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    Indian Air Force lost 30 fighter aircraft, 10 choppers in three years
    Indian Air Force (IAF) has lost a total 30 fighter aircraft and 10 helicopters in crashes in last
    three years which left 26 defence personnel including 13 pilots dead, government told the Lok
    Sabha today.
    In written reply to a question on incidents of air crashes in IAF, Defence Minister A K Antony
    said, "During the last three years, from 2008-09 to 2010-11, 30 fighter aircraft and 10 helicopters
    of Indian Air Force (IAF) have crashed."
    Antony informed the House that these crashes include 16 fighter aircraft of the MiG-21 series.
    "26 defence personnel including 13 pilots have lost their lives (in these crashes). In addition six
    civilians have also lost their lives," he said.
    Underlining that all aircraft accidents in IAF are thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry (Col) to
    ascertain their cause, he said, "Main causes for the above accidents were Human Error (HE) and
    Technical Defect (TD)."
    Antony said a multi-disciplined study team has been formed by the IAF to review the reasons for such
    crashes.
    Denying that inexperience of pilots is one of the major reasons for these accidents, Antony said steps
    have been taken by government to train pilots to prevent accidents due to human error.
    Some of the measures to improve training of pilots include use of simulators to practise procedures and
    emergency actions, focused and realistic training with additional emphasis on the critical aspects of
    mission, introduction of Crew Resource Management and Operational Risk Management.
    On phasing out the MiG-21 aircraft, he said, "Decision to phase out aircraft is taken on various
    factors including their residual life and operational considerations and is reviewed by the
    government from time to time. This is a continuous process."
    The MiG-21 Curse Continues
    India lost another MiG-21 fighter, the fifth to have crashed this year. That's over 71 percent of
    Indian warplanes lost this year. Over the last half century, India has bought 976 MiG-21s, and over half
    are gone, mostly because of accidents. While India was something of an extreme case in this area (other
    users don't fly their MiG-21s as much), it's been typical of MiG aircraft. All this is part of the decline of
    the once feared, and admired, MiG combat aircraft. Starting in World War II (the MiG-1 entered service
    in 1940), through the Korean War (the MiG-15 jet fighter) and the Cold War (the
    MiG-17/19/21/23/27/29), MiGs comprised the bulk of the jet fighters in communist, and Indian, air
    forces. But after the Cold War ended in 1991, the flaws of the MiG aircraft (poor quality control and
    reliability, difficult to fly) caught up with users, in a big way. In the last few years, most of the bad news
    about military aircraft reliability, accidents and crashes has involved MiG products.
    For example, last year, all Indian MiG-27s were grounded for four months because of suspected
    common mechanical problems. Within a month of the MiG-27s being allowed to fly again, another one
    crashed. The four month grounding was caused by fears that all the Russian made engines in these
    aircraft might have a common problem. These fears are not new. The MiG-27 and Cold War era Russian
    warplanes in general, do not age well. India only has about a hundred MiG-27s still operational, and all
    of them were grounded for over a year (2005-6) when serious problems were discovered with the
    MiG-27's Russian designed engines.
    Two years ago, India decided to retire 60 percent of its 250 MiG-21 fighters within two years. The
    only ones remaining will be the upgraded MiG-21bis models. In the last four years, India believed it had
    cleared up many of the reliability problems with the MiG-21. Actually, they have, but the MiG-21 remains
    a dangerous aircraft to operate. For that reason, India also plans to bar less experienced pilots from
    flying the MiG-21.
    When consulted about the high MiG-21 accident rate, Russia pointed out that India had insisted on
    manufacturing many of the spare parts needed to keep MiG-21s operational, and many of these parts
    were not manufactured to Russian specifications. While Russia does not have a reputation for making the
    highest quality equipment, their standards are often higher than India's. It's no secret that much of the
    military equipment made in India is pretty shabby by world standards.
    Most of the pilots lost in these MiG-21 accidents were new pilots, which pointed out another
    problem. India has long put off buying jet trainers. New pilots go straight from propeller driven
    trainer aircraft, to high performance jets like the MiG-21. This is made worse by the fact that the MiG-21
    has always been a tricky aircraft to fly. That, in addition to it being an aircraft dependent on one, low
    quality, engine, makes it more understandable why so many MiGs were lost. And a lot were lost.
    The Indian MiG-21 problems were believed overcome by 2006, a year in which no MiG-21s were
    lost. India improved maintenance, spare parts quality and pilot training to the point that the aircraft was
    no longer considered the most dangerous fighter to fly. But they were more expensive to keep in safe
    flying condition. India has reduced its military aircraft crash rate by over fifty percent in the last decade,
    but the older MiGs are still seen as dangerous to fly, and they often are.
    The Indian problems with MiGs were not unique. Inadequate maintenance and poorly trained pilots
    have been the cause of about half the lost MiGs. But India has it worst because they train their pilots to
    Western standards using Russian aircraft that were not designed to be used that heavily in peacetime.
    Wh ile the MiG-21s and the MiG 23/27 aircraft are distinctly different designs, all are difficult to
    fly and maintain. Over the last few years, all Indian MiG-23s were retired because of reliability and
    safety problems. The reason is simple, the aircraft are too expensive to maintain and too dangerous to
    fly. But India was not the only one, besides the Russians, who had problems with Russian made
    warplanes. During the Cold War, the U.S. had several dozen Russian aircraft they used for training their
    fighter pilots. Despite energetic efforts to keep these aircraft flying, their accident rate was 100 per
    100,000 flying hours.
    That's very high by U.S. standards. The new F-22 has an accident rate is about 6 per 100,000 hours,
    mainly because it's new. F-15s and F-16s have an accident rate of 3-4 per 100,000 flight hours. India,
    using mostly Russian aircraft, has an accident rate of 6-7 per 100,000 hours flown (compared to 4-5 for
    all NATO air forces.) The B-52 has the lowest accident rate of (less than 1.5 per 100,000 flying hours) of
    all American heavy bombers. The B-1s rate is 3.48. Compared to the supersonic B-1 and high-tech B-2,
    the B-52 is a flying truck. Thus the B-52, despite its age, was the cheapest, safest and most reliable way
    to deliver smart bombs.
    Combat aircraft have, for decades, been getting more reliable, even as they became more
    complex. For example, in the early 1950s, the U.S. F-89 fighter had 383 accidents per 100,000
    flying hours. A decade later, the rate was in the 20s for a new generation of aircraft. At the time, the
    F-4, which served into the 1990s, had a rate of under 5 per 100,000 hours. Combat aircraft have gotten
    more reliable and easier to maintain, despite growing complexity, for the same reason automobiles have.
    Better engineering, and more sensors built into equipment, makes it easier for the user and maintenance
    personnel to detect potential problems. Aircraft used the computerized maintenance systems, currently
    common on new aircraft, long before automobiles got them. Unless you have a much older car that still
    runs, or a real good memory, you don't notice the enormous increase in automobile reliability. But older
    pilots remember, because such changes are a matter of life and death if you make your living driving an
    aircraft. And commanders know that safer aircraft means more aircraft to use in combat, and more
    aircraft that can survive combat damage and keep fighting.
    The MiG-29 was supposed to have solved a lot of the quality and reliability problems of earlier
    MiG aircraft. But this was not the case. The MiG-29 crashed a lot, and was much more expensive to
    maintain, especially compared to contemporary Russian fighters like the Su-27. For decades Sukhoi was
    the second largest Russian military aircraft supplier, and after the Cold War ended, Sukhoi aircraft
    became the most common. The MiG aircraft appear to be at the end of the line.
     
  15. ash2win

    ash2win Regular Member

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    After collapse of USSR we chose to import mig 21 spars from Ukraine for cheap rates.
    HAL was capable to produce those but we chose the cheaper option which later proves to be very costlier decision!.:confused:
    blaming all on pilots is way of covering up truth.

    Remember rang de basanti -
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. EzioAltaïr

    EzioAltaïr Regular Member

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    In total 3 out of 200 MKIs have crashed, and 2 Mirages crashed this year. That isn't a really terrible crashe rate.
     
  17. EzioAltaïr

    EzioAltaïr Regular Member

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    Human error also includes bad servicing, so you can't blame the pilots for all of those. Blame the ground technicians too.
     
  18. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    I should also mention beside fault-spares, Indian Airforce makes more sorties than most Airforces in the world..

    This lead to extensive maintenance, And it also rise the technical failure issue..
     
  19. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    it's not about pilot quality , which may i say is among the best in the world

    ...... it's about FIRST-CLASS management , second only to what exists in african countries .......

    "meetings" and tea-breaks while pilots fall out of the sky !

    one of these days it will become a compulsory case study for the Harvard MBA program !
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  20. DaTang

    DaTang Tihar Jail Banned

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    I think HAL has been able to build their own Mig 21 since 1962 on soviet TOT. Why bother to look for spare parts around the world?
    Correct me if I am wrong.


     
  21. EzioAltaïr

    EzioAltaïr Regular Member

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    Yes, it is a disgusting effort. The crash rate of MiGs is absurdly high, compared to MKIs and Mirages. It's not like the pilots of MiGs are trained less than the others right? It has to be technical faults, not human.
     
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