New Delhi: Between 2008 and 2011, and upto March this year, 33 fighter aircraft including one Jaguar, two Mirage-2000, three Sukhoi-30 and 27 MiG-series and 10 helicopters have crashed. Twenty six defence personnel, including 13 pilots, have lost their lives during the period.

List of some of the IAF air-crashes between 2010 and 2012

2010

September 11: Pakur (Jharkhand), 3 killed

November 8: Siachen glacier-Saltoro Ridge region, pilots injured

November 19: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, 12 killed

December 14:  Jammu, 9 injured

2011

April 19: Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), 17 killed

April 22: Sikkim, 4 killed

August 22: Hyderabad , pilot safe

October 3: Satwari, 8 injured

2012

March 5: Rajasthan, pilot safe

August 16: Jammu, 9 injured

August 30: Jamnagar (Gujarat), 6 killed

Following is the timeline of major air crashes involving chief ministers and other VVIPs in India during the past several years:

April 30, 2011: Arunachal Pradesh CM Dorji Khandu, who went missing on a flight from Tawang, died along with four others after their helicopter crashed in bad weather in the mountains. The five, including two pilots, who took off in a single-engined EuroCopter B8 of Pawan Hans.

September 2, 2009: Then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy's chopper fatally crashed in a dense forest when he was flying to a village in Chitoor district for launching a developmental scheme. YSR was confirmed dead Thursday, nearly 27 hours after the Bell 430 he was flying in went missing.

March 31, 2005: Haryana ministers OP Jindal, also a noted industrialist, and Surendra Singh were killed when the chopper carrying them went down near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

March 3, 2002: Lok Sabha Sepaker and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader GMC. Balayogi died in a chopper crash in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Balayogi was travelling in a Bell 206 helicopter. An official probe established that the 2002 crash was caused when the pilot, unable to continue due to poor visibility and searching for an appropriate place to land, made an error of judgment by mistaking a pond to be a land surface.

September 30, 2001: Madhavrao Scindia, a senior Congress leader and a former cabinet minister, was killed in a plane crash when he was travelling to Kanpur to address a public rally. Six people also lost their lives when the private plane carrying him went down near Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.

May 2001: The Arunachal Pradesh education minister Dera Natung and five others were killed when their Pawan Hans craft crashed near Tawang because of poor visibility.

June 23, 2001: Sanjay Gandhi, the younger son of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, was killed when a glider he was flying crashed shortly after taking off from the Safdarjung airport in Delhi.

The VIPs who survived:

•Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and union ministers Prithviraj Chauhan and Kumari Selja had a miraculous escape in 2004 when the rear portion of their chopper broke on landing at a helipad in Khanvel in south Gujarat.

• Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh survived one such chopper accident when it hit electrical wires soon after after taking off. The cables snapped and the chopper crashlanded from a relatively low height. Singh escaped.

• BJP president Rajnath Singh and his vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had a miraculous escape last year when they were travelling to Rampur. The chopper landed close to a pile of dry grass that caught fire. The pilot, however, immediately took off again and landed at a safe place.

JPN/Agencies

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