Fourteen aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have been destroyed or damaged in thirteen cases of aircraft crashes, fire eruption or emergency landings in over a year.
According to the data available, more than 10 PAF officers including an air commodore, six squadron leaders, and two flight lieutenants have been killed in the aircraft crashes since October last year, reports The Nation.
The destroyed or damaged aircrafts include Mushak, Mirage, F-7, F-7 PG, JF-17 Thunder and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Falco-I Selex- the only type of surveillance drone the PAF has at present.
After every aircraft crash, the PAF would issue a one-liner, “A board of inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of accident”. The details of these inquiries, however, are neither shared publicly nor any relevant details are made available to the media.“These are internal probes of highly sensitive nature. Only the PAF top brass remains privy to relevant details,” a PAF official said.
“I think the repeated aircraft crash incidents are a result of the poor technical and engineering oversight. It’s the job of engineering branch to ensure that aircraft is well maintained and fully fit for flying operations. The pre-flight and post-flight inspections are carried out to examine if all the parts of an aircraft are functioning properly,” Air Commodore (r) Ali Raza, said.
“The PAF is extensively engaged in the war on terror on the Western border. This kind of operational engagement requires hectic operational preparedness that involves excessive professional training and other standby arrangements. This could be a constraint for effective aircraft maintenance and repair,” he added.