In a major setback to the Indian Air Force, a US-made C-130J Super Hercules Special Operations transport aircraft today crashed near Gwalior killing five crew members.

The crew included four officers says Defence PRO in Jaipur. The aircraft had taken off from the Agra air base.

“One C-130J aircraft crashed 72 miles (115 km) west of Gwalior air base. The aircraft was airborne from Agra at 1000 hours for a routine flying training mission. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the cause of the accident,” an IAF spokesperson said here.

Police in Jaipur said senior officials, including Superintendent of Police, Karauli, have rushed to the spot of the crash along the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh border.

India had recently inducted six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were bought from the US at a cost of around Rs 6,000 crore ($1.1 billion) four years ago.

The home base of the 77 squadron ‘Veiled Vipers’ operating the aircraft is Hindan in Ghaziabad near here.

The aircraft were recently landed on the Daulat Beg Oldie air field near the China border and have helped in boosting the IAF’s capability to airlift troops closer to the border in times of emergency.

(This article was published on March 28, 2014)
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