Flight mishap near Coimbatore as fuel tank falls from IAF aircraft

A fuel drop tank fell off from an indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) near Coimbatore today. There was no damage on the ground, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said.

Agriculture labourers in Irugur village were shocked to see the 1200-litre petrol tank fall from the sky. It caused a three-foot deep crater and a minor fire, the police said.

However, the combat jet landed safely in the nearby Sulur Air Force station, they said. The Indian Air Force (IAF) in a statement said “today morning one fuel drop tank fell from a Tejas aircraft on a routine sortie from Sulur Air Base. The aircraft landed back safely and no damage was reported on ground”.

It said the cause of the incident was being investigated.
As the news spread, a large number of people thronged the
spot.

Residents of Irugur village said a minor explosion took place as the fuel tank fell on agricultural land. Reports said that a 1,200-litre external fuel drop tank of the aircraft had a technical snag, following which the pilot chose to delink and drop it on agricultural land to avert a mid-air mishap.

Acting on information, IAF personnel from Sulur Air Base
rushed to the spot and removed the tank. IAF officials said the cause of the accident is being investigated.