The two pilots of Sukhoi-30 MKI, which had gone missing on May 23, have died because of fatal injuries, said the Indian Air Force on Wednesday. Squadron Leader D Pankaj and Flight Lieutenant S Achudev could not initiate ejection before the jet crashed about 60 kms from the Tezpur Airbase. “Analysis of the flight data recorder of the aircraft and certain other articles recovered from the crash site revealed that the pilots could not initiate ejection before the crash,” said IAF spokesperson Anupam Banerjee said, according to PTI.
“Squadron Leader D Pankaj and Flight Lieutenant S Achudev, the pilots of the Su-30 aircraft sustained fatal injuries when the aircraft crashed,” the Air Force said.
The Sukhoi Su-30 had taken off from the Tezpur air base, around 10.30 am on May 23 on a routine training mission but lost radar and radio contact with the controlling station around 11.10 am near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area, adjoining China. It was part of a two-aircraft formation when it went missing.
The wreckage was found on May 26 through aerial recce, in a thick forest around 60 km from Tezpur. Search and rescue teams on Tuesday found a blood stained shoe, half-burnt PAN card and a wallet of one of the two pilots.