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HAL should be answerable for IAF Plane crash: former Navy Chief

PW Bureau

Prakash, a naval aviator himself, said the military has used poor quality HAL machines for decades, many times resulting in the loss of young lives

New Delhi: Arun Prakash, former Navy Chief Admiral, wants answerability from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) brass and political leadership after an Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft crashed in Bengaluru soon after taking off on Friday, killing two pilots. The Admiral, a naval aviator himself, said the military has used poor quality HAL machines for decades, many times resulting in the loss of young lives.

The two pilots, Squadron Leader Siddharth Negi and Squadron Leader Sameer Abrol, were both parts of Aircraft and System Testing Establishment (ASTE) in the city.

"Pilots were not ordinary ones"

"The Mirage was not flown by ordinary pilots; these were superbly trained ASTE test pilots. Mil (military) has for decades flown poor quality HAL machines and often paid with young lives but not reckoning for HAL management. Time to focus on the leadership and directors of this giant PSU," Prakash tweeted.

"HAL bashing may be justified to a point, but (it's) time to question elected reps (representatives) too. 35 defence ministers have overseen this giant DPSU since 1947. While pampering its union, none demanded quality, productivity and aeronautical innovation of HAL or hand-picked a dynamic CEO."


He also said that "HAL bashing may be justified to a point, but (it's) time to question elected reps (representatives) too. 35 defence ministers have overseen this giant DPSU since 1947. While pampering its union, none demanded quality, productivity and aeronautical innovation of HAL or hand-picked a dynamic CEO."

BJP MP offers legal support to the aggrieved family

The Mirage-2000 aircraft, a product of France’s Dassault Aviation, which was on an acceptance sortie on Friday, after an upgrade by HAL, was unable to take off.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rajiv Chandrasekhar tweeted saying that if families of the pilots required accountability from HAL, he would make sure legal support is given to them.