(Last Updated On: June 24, 2018)
Indian Air Force C-130J Damaged at Ladakh Thoise Airfield
The Indian Air Force (IAF) for a while was left with only four operational Super Hercules aircraft after ordering six in 2011 for special operation duties. One aircraft was lost after it crashed in March 2014 (#KC-3803) near Gawlior Air Base, killing all five crew members onboard. In an another incident which took place in December 13, 2016, an IAF C-130J Damaged on its wing, hit a pole and several other obstacles during taxi, after the crew failed to follow standard operating procedures.
According to Times of India, the pilots (Group Captain Chatrath & co-pilot) apparently failed to keep the C-130J on the “center-line of the taxiway” after landing at the airfield at an altitude of over 10,000-feet. Group Captain Jasveen Singh Chatrath was relieved of his command of the 77 Squadron (Veiled Vipers). “They mistook another line to be the center-line (which provides obstacle clearance) at the airfield which has restricted space for maneuvering. One of the wings and propeller of the aircraft then hit the pole and some other objects with great impact. Whether the center-line and other lines were marked properly and all other factors are being examined by the court of inquiry,” said a source.
According to informed sources, the after necessary structural repairs, the repaired aircraft flew back to its home base Hindon from Thoise, two weeks after the ground incident.
India ordered 13 C-130Js from the US for over $2.1 billion. The first six planes were delivered to Hindon airbase, the rest when delivered are earmarked for the second C-130J squadron to be based at Panagarh in West Bengal for the Eastern front with China.
C-130Js have provided strategic airlift and power-projection capabilities to India, enabling the air force to transport combat-ready troops and weapons to the border areas, in times of conflict. They have also been extensively used for providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief in India as well as the extended neighborhood.