In a tragic incident, Indian Air Force’s new C-130J Super Hercules transport plane – configured for special operations and airborne assault – on Friday crashed near Gwalior, killing all five crew members, including four officers.
Two Wing Commanders, two Squadron Leaders and another crew member were killed in the Super Hercules Special Operations plane crash, Defence PRO told a news agency in Jaipur.
The IAF has ordered court of inquiry into the crash.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid his condolences.
“One C-130J aircraft crashed 72 miles (115 km) west of Gwalior air base. The aircraft was airborne from Agra at 1000 hours for a routine flying training mission. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the cause of the accident,” an IAF spokesperson said here.
Police in Jaipur said senior officials, including Superintendent of Police, Karauli, have rushed to the spot along Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh border.
Air Force officials said IAF chief Arup Raha has briefed Defence Minister AK Antony about the crash. Senior officers from the Air Headquarters have been dispatched to the crash site, they said.
Local IAF units have also rushed officers and men in choppers to the accident area, they said.
India had recently inducted six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were bought from the US at the cost of around Rs 6,000 crore (USD 1.1 billion) four years ago.
The incident is shocking since the plane, known as the safest aircraft, has capabilities of landing and taking off even in improvised or short airfields, and without lights.
The home base of the 77 squadron ‘Veiled Vipers’ operating the aircraft is Hindan in Ghaziabad near here.
India had recently deployed a C-130J Super Hercules of the Indian Air Force in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the international search for the missing Malaysian airliner in the South Indian Ocean region.
The aircraft was recently landed on the Daulat Beg Oldie air field near China border and have helped in boosting IAF’s capability to airlift troops closer to the borders in times of emergency.