ISLAMABAD - Two PAF officers were killed when a Mirage aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed in Qadirabad area of Mandi Bahauddin district on Thursday afternoon.
The officers killed in Mirage aircraft crash were a trainee pilot and a wing commander.
The incident took place in Qadirabad town of Mandi Bahauddin. No word came from the PAF on the plane crash. A source in the PAF said the aircraft, a non-combatant Mirage, had taken off from PAF Shaheen Base Sargodha (also known as Mushaf Base) on a training flight with two pilots onboard and was on way to Mianwali Airbase when it crashed in Qadirabad area of Mandi Bahauddin.
“Apparently, it seems to be a case of technical problem involving engine malfunction,” the official said, adding, air chief Tahir Rafique Butt had ordered Constitution of an inquiry board to ascertain the actual cause of the incident. The official identified the deceased pilots as Wing Commander Muhammad Jamal (Instructor) and Flying Officer Saad Salman, the trainee pilot. This is the third PAF aircraft crash in over as many months, fourth in the last six months and 18th incident since Oct 2011.
On July 11, 2013, the PAF said its F-7P fighter aircraft on a routine operational training mission had crashed near Essa Khel area of district Mianwali. The pilot of the aircraft ejected safely and no loss of civilian life or property was reported then.
On September 3, last year, a remote-controlled plane of the PAF crashed near Khai village of Chakwal. The plane had caught fire and it got destroyed completely but no loss of life or property was reported since the aircraft was said to have crashed in a deserted area near a dam.
In Oct 2013, a PAF Mushshak training aircraft on a routine training mission developed a technical fault and made crash landing in Pindi Bhattian, district Hafizabad. Both the pilots onboard remained safe whereas the aircraft was partially damaged.
Prior to that, 14 PAF aircraft were destroyed or damaged, with at least 10 PAF personnel killed including an air commodore, six squadron leaders and two flight lieutenants within a time period covering from October 19, 2011 to November 22, 2012. The destroyed or damaged aircraft included Mushshak, Mirage, F-7, F-7 PG, JF-17 Thunder and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Falco-I Selex, the PAF surveillance drone that had crashed near Mianwali in May this year. The GS Falco-I Selex was the only type of surveillance drone the PAF had then. Last November, however, the Army and PAF had announced that the first fleet of strategic surveillance drones, Burraq and Shahpar, had been inducted into these armed forces.
After every aircraft crash, the PAF issued a one-liner, “A board of inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of accident.”