February 22, 2017 (by Asif Shamim) - New articles in the Indian press are reporting that one of India's C-130J airlifters has sustained damage while taxiing at Thoise airfield in Ladakh after a nighttime sortie.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is left with only four operational aircraft after ordering six in 2011 for special operation duties. One aircraft had already been lost in March 2014 (#KC-3803
) crashing near Gawlior, killing five crew members.
Reports indicate this current accident took place in December 13, 2016, but has now come to light after the IAF board of enquiry has started to investigate the mishap. Group Captain Jasveen Singh Chatrath was relieved of his command of the 77 Squadron (Veiled Vipers).
Times of India went on to say via there sources, the pilots (Group Captain Chatrath & co-pilot) apparently failed to keep the C-130J on the "centreline of the taxiway" after landing at the airfield at an altitude of over 10,000-feet.
"They mistook another line to be the centreline (which provides obstacle clearance) at the airfield which has restricted space for manoeuvre. One of the wings and propeller of the aircraft then hit the pole and some other objects with great impact. Whether the centreline and other lines were marked properly and all other factors are being examined by the court of inquiry," said a source.
India has 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.