An Indian Air Force Pipistrel Virus SW 80 microlight aircraft crashed in Ranchad village in Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, Oct. 5.
The microlight aircraft took off from IAF’s Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on Friday morning and was reportedly participating in a drill for the upcoming Air Force Day (Oct. 8). According to the local reports, both the pilots of the aircraft are safe.
Rishirendra Kumar, the District Magistrate of Bagpat, said that only the nose of the aircraft was damaged. “The plane nosedived and is hanging upside down in between the trees. IAF officials are on the spot along with me and they are doing the needful” he was quoted by IANS News Agency.
An inquiry has been ordered by the Air Force to ascertain the cause of the accident.
In February this year, an IAF Virus SW-80 microlight aircraft crashed after getting airborne for a routine sortie from Air Force Station Jorhat in the state of Assam killing both its pilots.
The Indian Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to Pipistrel, on 12 October 2015, to supply 194 Virus SW 80 light trainers to the Indian Air Force (IAF) – 72 aircraft, Indian Navy – 12 aircraft, and National Cadet Corps (NCC) – 110 aircraft.
The two-seat Pipistrel Virus SW 80 aircraft, known as Garud in India after a bird in Hindu mythology, are used for training of Flight Safety and Air Wing Cadets. The contract awarded to Pipistrel includes an option for an additional 100 aircraft within the third year.
The aircraft is powered by an 80 HP aviation certified engine and can reach a maximum speed of more than 220 km/h, fly for more than 3 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 6000 meters. It is equipped with special Ballistic Parachute Rescue System and several other safety enhancing features, such as Energy Attenuation Seats and a KevlarTM reinforced cockpit cell.
The aircraft are also deployed for environmental and bird recce missions.