- Flight Lieutenant Achudev and Squadron Leader Divesh Pankaj were unable to eject on time
- A court of inquiry has been tasked with investigating the cause of the accident
- The Sukhoi jet went missing around an hour after taking off from the Tezpur IAF base on May 23
- The bodies of the two pilots were found near the Assam-Arunachal border on Tuesday
The two pilots of IAF's Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet, which crashed in Assam last week, died of injuries after they failed to eject on time, the Air Force has revealed.
The bodies of Kerala-based Flight Lieutenant S Achudev and Chandigarh native Squadron Leader Divesh Pankaj were recovered from dense forests near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border on Tuesday night, eight days after the jet went missing.
The IAF, in an official statement, has now confirmed that the two pilots suffered fatal injuries in the crash after they failed to eject themselves out of the plane on time. A court of inquiry has been tasked with investigating the cause of the accident.
"Sqn Ldr D Pankaj and Flt Lt S Achudev, the pilots of the Su-30 aircraft sustained fatal injuries when the aircraft crashed approximately 60 km from Tezpur Airbase on 23 May 17. 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," read an official statement from the IAF.
Achudev is a native of Pantheerankavu in Kozhikode and is the son of Sahadevan and Jayasree from Vallikunnuparambil. Sahadevan is a retired ISRO employee and the family currently resides in Thiruvananthapuram.
The wreckage of the aircraft, which had gone missing soon after it took off from IAF's Tezpur base on May 23 on a routine training mission, was located on May 26 after continuous search operations in the area.
The search and rescue teams, comprising Army, Air Force and civil administration personnel, recovered the jet's black box from the crash site, located in a dense forest near the Arunachal border, on May 28. And on Tuesday, the teams found a blood stained shoe, half-burnt PAN card and a wallet of one of the pilots, before they recovered the two bodies later in the day.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:40 PM