Monday, February 07, 2011

SARAS not to fly this air show

Bangalore: India’s first multi-purpose civilian aircraft designed by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in the light transport aircraft category, SARAS, will not fly at this edition of Aero India.
Getting ready: Workmen from the Swedish aerospace firm, Saab, install a flex at their stall in preparation for the five-day Aero India show set to begin on Wednesday. Reason: the nod of the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) is still awaited and its protoype-III (SARAS-PT3) is more or less stuck in the hangars.
The SARAS-PT2 (prototype-II), which had a fatal crash barely a month after the previous edition of Aero India, had flown for four days at the show in 2009, without the DGCA’s permission.
The crash, on March 6, 2009, had killed two Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilots –– Wing Commander Praveen Kotekoppa and Wing Commander Dipesh Shah, along with Flight Test Engineer Squadron Leader Ilayaraja.
The SARAS aircraft had caught fire after the crash in an open field near Bidadi, about 30 km from Bangalore, and probes later found that wrong engine relight drills given to the pilots caused the crash.
With the SARAS-PT1 declared too heavy to fly and SARAS-PT2 crashing a couple of years ago, NAL has no aircraft from the family that can fly at Asia’s premier air show this time.
06/02/11 Deccan Herald
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