The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will conduct a joint probe into the crash of an upgraded version of the Mirage-2000 fighter jet, a Defence Ministry official said on Saturday.
Squadron Leaders Samir Abrol and Siddhartha Negi died of fatal injuries after the aircraft crashed on Friday at a military airport here, when it was on an acceptance sortie following its upgrade by the HAL.
Abrol from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and Negi from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, were commissioned in the Air Force a decade ago and were on deputation as test pilots at the IAF’s Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) here.
Negi’s last rites is likely to be held in Bengaluru and Abrol’s in Ghaziabad, an IAF spokesman told IANS.
The ill-fated fighter jet was originally built by the French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.
According to witnesses, the aircraft crashed soon after taking off from the runway and exploded into a ball of fire.