NEW DELHI: The pilot of the Border Security Force (BSF) plane that crashed near the Delhi airport this morning noted a technical snag soon after he started the engine. But he was reportedly told to go ahead with his flight by the BSF ground crew.
Sources said aircraft had been over hauled six months ago and it had 30 hours of flying time left before it was to go for routine servicing.
Captain Bhagwati Prasad Bhat diverted the aircraft from populated areas to prevent any civilian deaths, say sources.
Nine BSF and one Sashastra Seema Bal personnel were killed when the Beechcraft B 200 aircraft hit a tree, crashed through the boundary wall of the airport and landed in a sewage treatment plant, bursting into flames.
The plane, a twin engine turboprop, took off at 9.45 am for Ranchi and went down moments later.
The pilot, say sources, was unable to gain altitude. He tried to fly back to the airport for an emergency landing but crashed 50 metres short of the runway.
The crash comes at a time the BSF has been trying to ramp up its air wing; it is the only paramilitary force to have one.
The aircraft that crashed was one of the two B 200 of the BSF. This plane was commissioned in 1995. Another was brought in in 2011.
A B 200 aircraft crashed in 1992 and in 2011 there was a crash in Jharkhand.
Sources said that both pilots were very experienced; Captain Bhat had over 200 hours of commanding this aircraft.
The aircraft was on a sortie with a dual purpose – to repair an Mi-17 aircraft and also to give flying practice to the pilots.