While IAF has ordered a probe, there are indications that the aircraft did not take off, forcing pilots to eject. The black box holds key to investigation

New Delhi: The tragic crash of the upgraded Mirage-2000 aircraft Friday in Bangalore, which claimed the lives of two pilots, has sent shock waves in the Indian Air Force (IAF) with multiple versions pouring in on how the accident took place.

While a formal Court of Inquiry has been initiated by the IAF to look into the cause of the accident, a number of accounts have pointed to a possible mechanical failure.

“The aircraft did not apparently get enough power for a complete take off and hence the pilots probably ejected,” a source told ThePrint.

Another source, however, added that the aircraft never really took off from the runway due to a mechanical failure and the pilots had to eject because of that.

Sources also said that the Mirage-2000 that crashed was a fully loaded one and was undergoing its second user acceptance flight. They pointed out that the aircraft was flown six times by HAL pilots and once by IAF pilots before Friday.

So far, it is believed that the pilots had to eject suddenly owing to a possible mechanical failure. One of the pilots died after he fell into the debris while another died after receiving serious injuries on impact, sources said.

Sources added that since everything happened in a matter of milliseconds, the IAF investigation report will reveal the exact sequence of events.

Immediately after reports of the crash came in, sources had pointed to the possibility of a tyre burst. This was denied by sources in the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.