"During 2008 to August 17, 2011, a total of 26 fighter planes of IAF had crashed. During the preceding three-year period of 2005 to 2008, 20 IAF fighter planes had crashed," Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha.
Replying to a question on crashes involving fighter planes, the Minister said, "The makes of these fighter planes were MiGs, Su-30 MKI and Jaguar. Six pilots were killed in these crashes." During this period, a maximum number of fighter jets crashed in 2009-10, when IAF lost a total of 10 planes, while two crashes have been reported this year till August.
On the strategy adopted by government to overcome these accidents, Antony said that every IAF aircraft accident is thoroughly investigated by a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to ascertain its causes and remedial measures are taken accordingly to check their recurrences in future.
"IAF has taken serious measures to invigorate aviation safety organization, streamlining of accident and incident reporting procedure, analytical studies and quality audits of aircraft fleets to identify vulnerable areas and institute remedial measures to reduce aircraft accidents," he said.
He also told the House on steps taken by government to address issues related to flight safety and improved training of IAF pilots.
"Ornithology cells, which carries out bird surveys at flying bases and suggest bird prevention modules, has been established at the Directorate of Flight Safety. All flying bases have been visited by aviation safety personnel to apprise and caution them on causes of accidents and to get their views," Antony said.