Saturday, November 08, 2014

Indian Air Force Bison forced to drop three fuel tanks while flying near Gwalior

BHOPAL: An Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter plane dropped three fuel tanks on outskirts of Gwalior city in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday during an in-flight emergency.

The Gwalior air base 'Bison' was conducting a routine training mission when the incident took place.

The pilot was forced to jettison the fuel tanks. They were dropped about 5km from the runway of the base and landed in a field 500m away from a residential locality, said sources.

Emergency crews rushed to the area, and no injuries were reported.

The pilot followed proper procedures during the incident, although having the fuel tanks land in the farm was a coincidence, said an IAF officer on condition of anonymity.

"As part of the landing procedure the pilot had to eject the external tanks before attempting a landing which was safely made with the Bison returning to base," said the officer adding, "Dropping the tank reduces the aircraft's weight and drag and gives the pilot better control in the event of engine failure".

"We're really happy that no one was hurt and the pilot is ok," he said.

One tank landed ending up near a toll booth and was close to a field where a farmer was working. Fortunately the fuel on board both tanks did not catch fire.

All three drop tanks were recovered by the IAF officials and taken to the air base. The incident is under investigation.

- Source:

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