What: Hindustan Aeronautic Ltd HAL HJT-36 Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer
Where: Near Hosur, Krishnagiri about 50 miles SE of Bangalore
When: April 28 2011
Who: 2 pilots
Why: The Hindustan Aeronautic Ltd (HAL) trainer crashed Thursday near Hosur in Tamil Nadu. The pilots pilots Wg Cdr. Patra and Mathur ejected and survived, although they had several injuries.
Since 1968, the HAL jets have been used to replace the Kiran trainers. This particular jet had crashed before (at Aero India in February 2007) and had been repaired and returned to service.
This is the “prototype” which careened off the runway when its canopy opened just as the plane was getting airborne at the Aero India 2007 exposition.
It is no wonder that in India, aviation is having problems. Between a a questionable supply of pilots with legitimate licenses, problems with air traffic control, and now recycled planes which may not be providing top protection to those who have to ride in them. Fortunately for these two pilots, the ejector seat worked and they survived the crash, albeit somewhat the worse for wear. The incident is under investigation.