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The IAF’s first LCA Tejas crash was allegedly caused by an engine seizure, according to officials.

Tejas Mk-1A Setbacks: How India’s Ambitious Fighter Jet Program Faces Hurdles

An ongoing investigation into the first-ever crash of the Indian Air Force’s light combat aircraft (LCA-Mk-1) Tejas, which occurred three months ago, suggests that engine seizure is the most likely cause of the accident, according to two officials familiar with the matter on Monday.

The domestically produced single-engine fighter jet crashed near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on March 12, shortly after participating in a tri-services exercise showcasing India’s progress towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing. The pilot safely ejected.

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At the outset, Tejas lacked a simulator and a trainer aircraft for initial training. However, pilots were provided with simulation trials before flying the Tejas aircraft. Initial reviews indicated stability during flight, with the aircraft maintaining a straight glide. However, there was an incident where the aircraft experienced an engine malfunction, prompting the pilot to eject safely.

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Pilot Safe Ejections

The decision to eject was made as a precautionary measure, considering the aircraft’s low altitude and steep descent angle. With the aircraft’s altitude dropping rapidly, attempting to balance and land it was deemed too risky. Ejecting ensured the pilot’s safety, as deploying a parachute at such low altitudes could have been disastrous.

LCA Tejas engine Issue

Investigations revealed the engine malfunction was likely due to lubrication issues or other technical faults. Such split-second decisions underscore the potentially catastrophic outcomes that can result from technical failures.

The pilot involved was highly experienced and well-trained for airshow displays, suggesting timely decision-making. Nevertheless, accidents can stem from technical glitches, human errors, or unforeseen circumstances like bird strikes.

Following the crash, safety checks were conducted on the entire LCA Mk-1 fleet, revealing no safety issues with the aircraft,” said the second official, who also requested anonymity. The LCA Mk-1 is equipped with the F404 engine from US firm GE Aerospace.

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This engine failure ended the LCA Mk-1’s previously accident-free flying record.

In February 2021, the IAF ordered 83 Mk-1A fighters for ₹48,000 crore and plans to purchase an additional 97 Mk-1As at an estimated cost of ₹67,000 crore.

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Aerospace

Boeing Transfers Rocket Stage to NASA, Paving Way for Human Moon Mission

Boeing Transfers Rocket Stage to NASA, Paving Way for Human Moon Mission
Image:Boeing

Boeing has achieved a significant milestone by providing NASA with the second core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

This crucial component, crafted at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), is set to propel the Artemis II crew into lunar orbit, marking humanity’s return to deep space after a 50-year hiatus.

The monumental Boeing-built rocket stage, the largest element of the Artemis II mission, will embark on a journey aboard the Pegasus barge, traveling 900 miles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Upon arrival, it will be meticulously integrated with other essential Artemis II components, including the upper stage, solid rocket boosters, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft within the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building. This intricate integration process is a vital step toward the eagerly anticipated Artemis II launch, slated for 2025.

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Boeing-built products helped land humankind on the moon in 1969, and we’re proud to continue that legacy through the Artemis generation,” remarked Dave Dutcher, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s SLS program. “Together, with NASA and our industry partners and suppliers, we are building the world’s most capable rocket and paving the way to deep space through America’s rocket factory in New Orleans.”

NASA, Lockheed Martin Reveal X-59 Quiet Supersonic Aircraft:Click here

The delivery of Core Stage 2 marks a significant achievement in the evolution of the SLS rocket. Towering over 200 feet and powered by four RS-25 engines, this core stage, coupled with two solid-fueled booster rockets, will generate a staggering 8.8 million pounds of thrust. This immense power is crucial to launching Artemis II and future missions into the vast expanse of space.

The SLS rocket stands unparalleled in its capability to transport both crew and substantial cargo to the moon and beyond in a single launch. Its extraordinary capacity will facilitate the delivery of human-rated spacecraft, habitats, and scientific missions to destinations including the moon and Mars, ushering in a new era of space exploration.

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