MiG-21 News & Discussion

Prateek
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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Prateek » 02 Oct 2003 00:34

At last, George admits MiGs may not be safe

MUMBAI: Defence minister George Fernandes, who always maintained that the MiG-21s of the Indian Air Force were absolutely safe despite the series of accidents they have been involved in, has finally agreed that a solution has to be found for the spate of crashes.

And the credit for this goes to none other than Kavita Gadgil who lost her 27-yearold son, Abhijit, in a MiG-21 crash on September 17, 2001, in Rajasthan. She has launched a campaign to find out the real cause behind the spate of MiG-21 crashes.

For this purpose, she has formed the Abhijit Air Safety Foundation, which is based here. Between August 5, 2000, and July 14, 2003, 30 MiG-21s have crashed, killing 17 pilots. Despite this, Fernandes had said there was nothing wrong with this plane and dismissed suggestions that it was a "flying coffin".

However, following a representation made by Gadgil to him on July 26, 2003, he wrote a letter to her dated July 29, 2003, in which he said: "There can be no two views about the need to find a solution to the problems of MiG crashes. At the same time, we must not forget that these crashes are not just a couple of years or even 35 months old. This history of MiG crashes goes back to the early eighties," he has said.

Fernandes said the whole nation has to join hands to tackle the problem of the MiG crashes. "In this process of solution finding, views and suggestions are welcome. You have sent some suggestions and they will be considered keeping in view our over all strategic requirements and capabilities," he said.

On September 15, Gadgil met Fernandes,where he said a solution had to be found for the MiG crashes. She said he also agreed to re-investigate the cause of the MiG-21 crash, in which her son was killed.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Prateek » 03 Oct 2003 03:48

Phasing out of MiG jets worries IAF

NEW DELHI:The Indian Air Force (IAF) is racing to close an emerging gap in its capabilities brought on by the phasing out of some of its ageing Russian-made MiG-series jets.

IAF officials are worried the gap might persist for several years if the acquisition of modern jets to replace the MiG-21s and MiG-23s is not speeded up. :o

The force is currently upgrading 125 of its MiG-21s, which form the backbone of its combat arm, to keep them flying till the turn of the decade. But earlier versions of the MiG-21, which entered service in the early 1960s, are slowly being phased out as the jets have come under a cloud following a spate of crashes.

The IAF has also begun phasing out its MiG-23 ground attack fighters, which entered service in the early 1980s. One of the three MiG-23 squadrons based at Halwara has been "number plated" this month, with some jets being sent to repair depots to be cannibalised for spares and others being attached to other flying units.

The IAF earlier operated six MiG-23 squadrons, but officials now admit technical reliability and maintenance of the aircraft are posing problems.

To close the gap, the IAF is looking at several acquisitions that are in the pipeline, including the manufacture of 150 Su-30MKI multi-role jets under licence from Russia, the induction of 37 Jaguar jets currently being made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the induction of the home-grown Tejas light combat aircraft.

Officials say it will take at least two to three more years for the Jaguars and Su-30MKIs to enter service, while the Tejas, currently undergoing advanced tests, is likely to be cleared for induction into the IAF only by 2012.

This delay could result in the IAF falling short of its mandated combat strength of about 40 fighter squadrons, and the force is also mulling a proposal to buy 126 Mirage 2000 jets from France, defence ministry sources told IANS.

Some military experts and IAF officials believe the gap will not adversely affect the air force's combat potential as modern aircraft like the Mirage 2000 and Su-30s, though fewer in number, are capable of carrying out diverse operations.

"The Mirage 2000s proved their mettle during the Kargil operations in 1999. And though we have only 28 Su-30s, these jets can carry huge payloads and operate over long distances to strike deep within enemy territory," said an IAF officer who did not want to be named.

"Besides, the induction of force multipliers like the Phalcon early warning systems and Il-78 air-to-air refuelling aircraft will boost our combat potential."

India has signed a deal to acquire six Il-78 refuelling aircraft, and the first of these has already entered service.

Israel announced last month that it would go ahead with the sale to India of three Phalcon airborne warning and control systems worth over a billion dollars after the U.S. gave the green light for the deal.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby ragupta » 03 Oct 2003 06:32

Unless IAF starts accepting LCA into service like they did with SU-30K by 2005 or latest 2006. There should not be any more deals for additional Fighters. No LCA acceptance, No Mirages.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 03 Oct 2003 07:07

Originally posted by ragupta:
... No LCA acceptance, No Mirages.
Are you serious? I thought that it was the LCA progran that was having a rough time. Are u sure we can have the LCA ready by 2005 (Aapke Mooh mein ghee-shakkar)? In 3 years the LCA has flown 60 hours. It needs 2000 hrs for certification. We can presently prepare one LCA per year. So calculate how long the 2000 hrs will take. Even if we have 3 birds up at a given time (not an easy task) and they all fly 60 hrs an year - it wil take 10 years more. I guess we need to get more birds in the air and fly them for at least 120-200 hrs a year or so to speed up the program. It may be that funds are the problem.

It is not the IAF but the LCA that has to hurry up. The IAF likes the aircraft. Someone put it earlier - what is the use of a super-duper fighter after the war!! (fanne said that I think)

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Umrao » 03 Oct 2003 07:29

There is money to be made in MiG-21 Upgrades. There is loby who will paint a very scarry situation if the MiG-21 is phased out.
Did anybody attempt to upgrade a XT or a #86 motherboard. By the time you finish the upgrades you will realize that it would have been cheaper to buy a Pentium 4 new machine or a AMD XP/MP machine.

The MiG-21 is now as not worth a dime to spend in upgrading. Get The LCA going real fast. Kick but the ADA and GTRE to deliver Kaveri or beg, borrow steal French / Russian engines for LCA.

The future ought to be LCA and nothing else.

George Kaka can only be that much dishonest. he is now seeing the writing on the wall, will BR gurus also see that?

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Guest » 03 Oct 2003 09:18

Kick but the ADA and GTRE to deliver Kaveri or beg, borrow steal French / Russian engines for LCA. The future ought to be LCA and nothing else.
Since it is more or less apparent that LCA is the only possible replacement for MiGs, IAF should pump-in in money for more PVs for faster evaluation of LCA. First squadron is going to have GE-404 in anycase, so Kaveri wouldn't be a bottle-neck.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 03 Oct 2003 18:20

Originally posted by Qhayaal:
.. IAF should pump-in in money for more PVs for faster evaluation of LCA. First squadron is going to have GE-404 in anycase, so Kaveri wouldn't be a bottle-neck.
Too right. Not only the IAF but the GOI should find other funds for the program to get the fighter up! GTRE should be paid close attention to to ensure the Kaveri's speedy completion.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 03 Oct 2003 18:52

JAGAN ->

http://www.shanaberger.com/by_nation_india.htm

(IAF MiGs painted in Czech and Soviet colours in the USA?)

:confused:

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby ragupta » 04 Oct 2003 03:28

Vivek,

My comments are not based on optimism, but based on doubt, fear and anger at the news coming out for actual date of certification and induction of LCA aka Tejas.

The most optimist date for certification is 2007, and the dates thrown out for Tejas induction, range from 2010-2012. Even if this timeline is maintained. There is a doubt that LCA may start getting a step motherly treatment from IAF, vested interest and DDM, the moment another fighter deal is signed. There is a big chance that LCA will be sidelined and the user agency may care less about its availability.

That is because, by 2007, HAL would be producing 14 SU30MKI / year, 12+Hawks, 12+ Mirage ( In all likelihood that looks to be signed), and then a whole bunch of IJTs- HJT36/37/72 . That is 2 squadron of fighters in a year!, excluding IJTs and that is lot of planes, add to this upgrades and miscellaneous purchases of other types – HAL is going to be very busy. And if there is any need of cost cutting, then I am sure that LCA will be the one, which will take the brunt of it. If that ever happens not only it will demoralize the scientist working on it for 20+ years and various organization (public and private), but also the sentiments of people like those who frequent BR forum. And I consider such a hurt feeling a loss equal to more than 100 Su-30MKIs. At the same time it does not bode well for the relationship and co-operation between user agency, R&D agencies and those who have built infrastructure based on the availability of business from Tejas production.

While the delay in LCA will hardly affect IAF and even HAL. As the unavailability of LCA will not hurt the operation capability of IAF, while HAL will be extremely busy with work at hand. But this will likely harden IAF position and they may start throwing spanners at the LCA project. This will certainly affect the R&D Agencies and LCA team, local industry other than public, who have been co-operating on LCA project, and hoping for Business and a whole lot of indiagenization supporters. That means, that any future futuristic ventures by these teams will not be taken seriously and consequently does not bode well for the future development of new technology by these agencies. Which would be at least 10 times more harmful than lack of capability by imports of any fighter for eg. Mirage-2k etc.

The other factor in the lack of optimism with these dates are that, we hear a figure of 2000Hrs of testing, and given the fact that till now 60Hrs of testing has been done, and PV1 had not flown, the 2007 dates does not appear to be possible. The continuous slippages also add to the lack of this optimism.

So how can I seek acceptance of LCA by IAF by 2005/2006, is it possible?, Me think quite probable. Am I an aeronautical expert. Definitely 2007% not!.

While the IAF appears to be co-operating with the LCA project at this stage, given the experience of other “Indigenous products- Arjun etc”, I wonder whether this is “Muh me Ram bagal me Chhuri” approach by IAF. Meaning they want to be seen as a supporter of LCA and providing all kind of co-operation, but they could actually now or later plan to kill the project, by delaying and eventually moving on to something else.This approach is fine with TSP and other enemies, it should not turn out to be a case with LCA. The past examples are proof enough that our user agencies (Except Navy) is capable of. One may start wondering why Navy is now more capable and control of its more product development, has this to do with getting the smallest piece of the cake! (Defence Budget), May be! Worth trying that with other groups, I guess.

To be Continued …

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 04 Oct 2003 14:11

Here is a nice article by Flt Lt Thapa on a lesson he learnt during his armament training while with the Pursoots -

http://vayu-sena.tripod.com/experiences-thapa.html

PS: Sorry, those MiGs are not Indian - false alarm. The website has the same pix listed under Soviet etc sections too.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby ragupta » 04 Oct 2003 18:39

Phasing out of MiG jets worries IAF

Preparing the groundwork for next big deal, Mirage 2K, and salivating at that prospect.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby ragupta » 04 Oct 2003 19:16

LCA:
Required testing hour – 2000. Certification date – 2007, Induction – 2010/12.

Don’t know where this figure come from, how they are calculated, what is the breakup of the testing hours and how much is needed for various sub-systems.

All that I know, is testing is on-going thing, Certain things will not be found, unless gone through the rigor of user usage, under very specific condition, so on and so forth.

Fighter capability building is an ongoing thing (F-16 A/B/C/E/F .. , Mirage H/D/N/5/9/K.. whatever, Su-27/3X/MKX … ), So why the need for this super duper LCA in first go. Be ambitious but not foolish, there is a very small line differentiating between them in the current content, even if one is proved correct future generation that does not help.

What we have today, is the flying airframe tested with 100flights, which can take off and land and go supersonic 1.2M etc. This is 2003, in next 2 years just make sure that the plane is able to perform this task and roll it out of production.

The PV1 is being tested and is suppose to be close to production standard. Since an order for 8/16 has already been placed and money available, get the assembly line setup and start manufacturing to this standard now!. By 2005 whatever extent of flight envelop is tested and there is confidence, put that software into the frame and roll it out. Let the IAF pilots fly the plane within those parameters only, what is the need to do hara-kiri. The Initial production LCA need not have weapon systems, anyways they are not going to be frontline fighter they are inducted into the IAF, so what is the absolute necessity for it. Also it is not that IAF does not have other fighters to take care of it.

Once the production roll out start, the project will gets it strong footing, the user feedback will add to faster upgrade and improvement. And the Development & testing team can continue rolling out further improved version every year. The production needs to be at least in double digit 10-12 /years.

As the flight testing envelop is expanded and confidence built, upgrade the earlier production version, or canabalize it for new versions.

Now if we break the major components of LCA. Airframe- Already tested to some degree
Avionics – incorporate already proven system – the same which has been incorporated into SU-30MKI and will be part of upgrade for Jaguar and Mig-27s, there is no reason why if its works for these plane, why it should not work for LCA.
RADAR – incorporate kopyo or elta in the first version, if it is good for upgrade it should be good for LCA
Engine – 11 in hand, 40+ on order, good for 3-4 years of production, if need be order more.
Weapons – Same as part of upgrade.
Further, weaponisation is not absolute necessary in the first version, if the IAF can wait for Mig-29 and Su-30 to be weaponized with the latest and greatest for several years, I don’t think why LCA should be put under that constraint.

Most of the major component, can be reliable tested platform, the only thing needed is airframe testing and integration of basic avionics, which is proven to a certain extents with the current flying, add 400Hrs more to this basis testing by getting all the PVs rolled out ASAP by 2005 and roll out LCA with basic configuration from 2005. This in itself will be a major boost, which is most needed.

The rest on the development and testing will be ongoing process, and could be achieved as the infrastructure is built, technology developed.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Raman » 07 Oct 2003 03:52

India working on space weapons: IAF chief
http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/oct/06iaf1.htm
He said two squadrons of the upgraded Mi-21 (sic) Bisons had become operational and the third was in the process of going through final flying and training tests in Ozar in Nashik in Maharashtra.

The air chief said three more Bison squadrons would become operational by March next year.
So No.3 Cobras and No.21 Ankush are good to go. Does anyone know which is the third sqn to get the Bison?

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Manne » 07 Oct 2003 13:06

They might as well deploy the Bisons (instead of MKI) with the recently number-plated squadron. Lohegaon and Thanjavur would be great for MKIs.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 08 Oct 2003 15:24

Crash Investigation Report of Abhijeet Gadgil's MiG-21 Accident (Open Source - Pubic Domain)

--------------------------------------------------

Brief Narrative

On 17 Sep 2001, at a base in western sector, a young pilot was authorised to lead a 2 aircraft practice interception sortie during dark night phase. He got airborne at 2000 hrs and the aircraft was seen climbing with after burner on. After 3 minutes, a big flash was seen on the take-off heading. The aircraft crashed approximately 3.5 km away from the runway-end. There were neither any RT calls nor was there any attempt to eject. The pilot died in the crash.<p align="justify">Personal History

The 27 year old pilot belonged to a service family background. His father was a retired Wg Cdr (Tpt Pilot). He passed out from NBA in Dec 95 and was commissioned in Dec 96. He got married in Dec 2000 and was leading a happy married life. He was an extrovert and displayed lot of enthusiasm in Sqn activities. There was no significant life change event after his wedding. He was on leave for 02 weeks in June. He used to drink and smoke occasionally. There was no history of drug abuse.<p align="justify">Medical History He was in Med Cat A1G1 On that day, during pre-flight medical examination, he was found fit for flying. There was no history of major illnesses or injuries or hospitalisation.<p align="justify">Flying History

He was a fully ops pilot with an instrument rating of white. He was assessed as "Average" .His flying hours are placed in

Table 1. Table 1.<p align="justify">

Flying hours. 
<p align="justify">
Solo Night F Total
453:30 39:50 Sim Act
On type 329:10 28:00 15:30 16:45 <p align="justify">

His last night sortie was three days prior to the accident. There was no break in flying. In Feb 2000, he was involved in a HE (A) incident wherein during a taxi check, he throttled back late and engaged the Arrester Barrier. His ops status was removed and he had to complete a new syllabus thereafter. As per the Blue Book and PPRB his flying skills had been fluctuating and he had remained an average pilot throughout.<p align="justify">Environmental Factors
It was a dark night phase sortie. Metar showed visibility of 6 km, fine weather with calm surface wind, clear sky without any clouds and temperature was 31.6 °C. The visual reference available over runway in the dark night phase was relatively less.<p align="justify">Preflight Factors
This was his first sortie of that day. The previous two days were non-flying days. He had slept adequately and taken pre-flight meals. There was no alcohol consumption on that day.<p align="justify">Crash Kinematics & Wreckage Distribution
As the SARPP film was not available, the material evidence was lacking and data was drawn from a mathematical model and wreckage. The aircraft appears to have impacted at approximately 10-15° angle with high speed (700 kmph) and high engine RPM. The crater was conical in shape with a base diameter of 10m and a depth of 5m. A furrow was attached to the crater at 6 O'clock position. All of the wreckage lay ahead of the crater. The vertical decelerative forces were calculated to be 26G. These forces were less due to a shallow angle and the disintegration was mainly due to the post impact explosion.<p align="justify">Injuries As a result of the post impact explosion, the body of the pilot was disintegrated into small pieces and thrown ahead of the crater.<p align="justify">
Safety Equipment & Ejection Seat

Perusal of flying clothing card confirmed that the pilot was wearing appropriate flying clothing of correct size and fitment. Barring a few of the fragmented parts, nothing could be retrieved. Ejection seat had not fired and the primary cartridge was still intact. Due to the impact forces, the seat had sheared-off and disintegrated.<p align="justify">Physiological Factors G-related problems
As the SARPP film was not available, the exact magnitude of +Gz forces could not be ascertained. However, given the sortie profile, the G forces experienced would not have been more than +2-3Gz which was well within human tolerance.<p align="justify">Hypoxia and Hyperventilation
No emergency was reported by pilot. There was no evidence suggestive of hyperventilation in AFTR.<p align="justify">Inflight Incapacitation
Pilot was fully in control of aircraft till it crashed, and impact angle was only 10 degrees.<p align="justify">Spatial Disorientation
There was a strong possibility of SD and the details are discussed subsequently.<p align="justify">Inflight Emergency
There was a trim runway in the pitch-up direction causing an excessive pitch-up attitude as per the material evidence from the wreckage.<p align="justify">Discussion
Somatogravic illusion is a form of spatial disorientation wherein a false sensation of body tilt occurs as a result of perceiving the direction of the resultant gravito-inertial force as vertical. It is caused by stimulation of the otolith organs and results in a falsely perceived tilt of one's body with respect to vertical. It usually occurs shortly after take-off when full power has been applied pushing the pilot back in his seat. When this backward vector is combined with the downward vector of gravity, the pilot perceives a backward tilt as if he were climbing. If the pilot dives his aircraft to correct for the perceived climb, a full power shallow angle crash within few miles of the departure-end of the runway has been known to occur. These kind of fatal accidents due to SD are common the world over especially when the horizon is obscured as in dark night phase with little visual reference & also among pilots with poor proficiency in instrument flying and poor flying experience. <p align="justify"> In the present case, the following facts correlate : -Dark night phase sortie - Relatively featureless terrain - Pilot with poor flying experience - Poor IF proficiency - Take-off with after burner on - Crash immediately after take-off - Shallow angle and high speed crash - Crater was relatively shallow - Wreckage distribution ahead of crater - No RT call from the pilot - No attempt to eject out - Full control of aircraft till crash. At the critical stage of take-off, an in-flight emergency i.e. trim runway in pitch-up direction occurred resulting in an excessive pitch-up attitude of the aircraft. This was compounded by the false sensation of pitch-up attitude caused by the somatogravic illusion. In all probability the pilot was misguided by the 'seat of the pants' sensation and he overcorrected for the climb. As the height was just 250 m, the aircraft speed was high (700 kmph) and it was a dark night phase, aircraft crashed within few seconds.<p align="justify">Conclusion
This accident illustrates the disastrous effects of SD especially when it coincides with an in-flight emergency at a critical stage of flight.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby shiv » 08 Oct 2003 19:09

Originally posted by Jagan:
Crash Investigation Report of Abhijeet Gadgil's MiG-21 Accident (Open Source - Pubic Domain)
This was compounded by the false sensation of pitch-up attitude caused by the somatogravic illusion. In all probability the pilot was misguided by the 'seat of the pants' sensation and he overcorrected for the climb. As the height was just 250 m, the aircraft speed was high (700 kmph) and it was a dark night phase, aircraft crashed within few seconds.

Conclusion
This accident illustrates the disastrous effects of SD especially when it coincides with an in-flight emergency at a critical stage of flight.

Thanks for posting Jagan

Height 250 M, 10 degree angle, 700 kph.

A quick calculation shows that the poor fellow hit the ground 7.4 seconds after he pointed his aircraft's nose down.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Prateek » 08 Oct 2003 22:25


What goes on in a fighter pilot's mind?

http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=13279018%20&vsv=581
The writer is a Group Captain who has more than 3,500 flying hour experience out of which 2,200 flying hours were spent in active flying on MiG-21 fighter aircraft. He has participated in Operations Brasstacks (1987) and the Kargil conflict of 1999 besides several other theatres of operation. He has been in the Air Force since 1980 and is a highly experienced MiG-21 pilot. For service reasons, his identity is withheld at his request.)
Wednesday, 08 October , 2003, 11:27

Indian Air Force Day

MiG-21 is the best fighter jet, notwithstanding the negativ publicity it has got in the media of late. Not for nothing is MiG-21 the favourite with several countries' air defence authorities. If it was just a flying coffin as it is made out to be, there would be no takers.

It is argued that MiG-21 is unsafe as a flying machine because it is an old aircraft. Nothing could be farther from the truth. True, there are newer jet fighter planes in the IAF's inventory. However, whether it was developed one year ago or 40 years ago, every flying machine is handled with the greatest regard for safety. That is the priority. I wonder why the detractors of MiG-21 forget this fact.

After every sortie, the jet undergoes minutest of the checks on the ground, attended by the best technical brains, lasting more than two hours. It is something akin to a patient kept in the Intensive Care Unit of a specialised hospital and scrutinised thoroughly. There is no 'chalta-hai' attitude at that level.

There is an unwritten code within the Indian Air Force that when the ground staff – technicians – tell the Squadron Commander that a particular aircraft should not take off, it is held as gospel. No questions asked. Jet fighter pilots have immense faith in the technical sergeant. However important and vital the proposed Mission may be, the usage of that particular bird is a strict 'no-no.'

When the sergeant tells – mind you, he never orders – that the Jet has to be checked out, then even if it involves a training mission being cancelled, the sergeant will have the last word. So all this talk about MiG-21 as 'flying coffins' is pure hogwash.

Time Between Overhaul (TBO) is another ritual strictly adhered to in the air force. Like your car has to undergo some critical tests after certain kilometers, aircraft undergo stringent checks after stipulated flying hours. There's no way any jet fighter can sidestep this procedure. This is important because safety is paramount. Having spent a lot of money in acquiring these flying machines, every air force would like these birds to be utilised to the maximum possible extent.

What's the mindset of a MiG pilot on the eve of a mission? There are two major levels of alerts in the air force. Even during peacetime, we are in some state of alert. But at times of conflict – impending or happening – we are put on a higher state of alert. The squadrons are assigned roles depending upon various factors. As we climb into the cockpit of our flying machines, our commitment is -ALWAYS - to complete the task assigned in the best possible manner with the greatest efficiency and safety and above all, the goods must be delivered. Simply put, we are goal-oriented.

This may read like any mission statement. Remember we may have to carry tons of warload into hostile territory, deliver it on the target, return to base, refuel, rearm and be ready to be airborne again. It is a tense situation, to put it mildly. Our adrenaline levels will be pretty high, as many studies have revealed.

Incidentally, did you know that take-off and landing is one of the most critical stages of flight in any fighter aircraft? Why? A pilot has to be extra alert at these stages because he has to assimilate at least 125 pieces of information every second during take-off and landing stage.

Unlike a multi-engined aircraft that have two, three, or four engines, MiG jets are single-engined. One bird ingestion and your engine may 'flame-out' putting you in a very tricky situation. Having said that if you were to ask me whether being a MiG pilot is the riskiest job, I can say it is as risky as walking on a busy thoroughfare in any metropolis.

A thousand things go through your psyche as you sit inside the cockpit. For instance, if you notice a column of tanks on the ground, you cannot bomb them. It is simply not done because tanks are heavily armoured. You have to blow them up so that they go to smithereens. We carry matching weapons to target and precision is vital. We are always on high alert.

We have been trained to take on that level of stress. Just because there are no major conflicts, the air force cannot afford to remain without experience. We are trained for that eventuality when you have to take on enemies as you cannot train when the balloon has gone up. Our stress level is pretty high particularly when it is air-to-air combat in an air defence role. The risk is low in simulated situations, naturally.

Training of a fighter pilot is the toughest. If you take an international perspective, in Israel, people are recruited for all three forces as a single unit. They filter during training and the top 20 percent gets into their air force. Out of this 20 percent, hardly five percent is chosen to be fighter pilots.

This is because air defence is very critical to the ground army to mount a successful attack. The Indian Air Force does not follow this system of selection, but the standards set during selection and training of pilots is very high.

After passing out of National Defence Academy, trainees go through a rigorous training for one year. Thereafter, the ones chosen to fly fighters are trained for aproximately a year on MiG-21 aircraft, before being posted to squadrons operating different variants of the MiG family of fighter aircraft in the air force.

Once the basic training in MIG-21 is over, you can easily get adjusted to others. MiG is a good platform to learn the basics of jet fighter, though an intermediate training aircraft like the AJT is a must. Once again, the toughest training is to get acquainted with the take-off and landing part. The speed at this critical juncture may be anywhere around 300 kilometre per hour. Can you imagine the plight of an airborne jet fighter pilot? It's tough and you learn to live with it.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 12 Oct 2003 08:29

Originally posted by muddur:
[b]
What goes on in a fighter pilot's mind?


..the toughest training is to get acquainted with the take-off and landing part. The speed at this critical juncture may be anywhere around 300 kilometre per hour. [/b]
This training can only be imparted by a MiG-21 Mongol trainer with a seasoned instructor in the back seat. Since we will have the MiG-21s around for another decade at least, maybe we should look at its trainer version a little closer?

One of the major disadvantages of the Mongol is the fact that the instructor has almost no forward vision as it is obstructed by the trainee. Unlike other tandem-seat trainers, the instructor's seat is not elevated a little above the trainee's so he can see in front. It is directly behind and at the same level of the trainee. This has to do with the compact design of the plane I suppose, but would it be worthwhile looking into this aspect?

Would it be possible, for example, to stagger the front and back seats just a few inches left and right so that the instructor has at least a partial front view as in:
P-
-P
instead of:
-P-
-P-

Or do something like what the Chinese have done with the FTC-2000 using the basic Mongol airframe with IJT-like cockpits.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby member_201 » 12 Oct 2003 09:04

Vick, what you are suggesting could result in major changes to an old Mongol airframe. The primary concern that I see is will an old airframe handle the stress of the redesign? AFAIK, the MiG-21bis upgrade deals with avionics and not with the airframe. The MiG-21 cockpit is quite cramped and moving seats, even a few inches left and right of each other may not be possible.

I quote from the Indian Air Force Flight Safety Magazine, October 1998...

"BRIEF: On 18.11.97 (18 Nov 97), during landing, the aircraft (Su-30) touched down short of the arrester barrier, resulting in damage to horizontal strands.

CAUSE: The pilot did not realise that he was undershooting, and failed to intiate corrective action although he was likely to touch short of the barrier. The pilot had very limited experience on the type, especially from the front cockpit. An approach made from the front cockpit with the rear seat perspective resulted in the under shooting approach.

DFS (Director of Flight Safety) Comments: This is once again a late taking over of controls on the part of the captain. Guard against this."
Fortunately there was minimal damage to the Su-30 and both pilots were safe. What the magazine is emphasising is that the Captain (Instructor Pilot) was too late in taking over the controls - for reasons unknown. Why did the Captain not take over the controls, when he sensed something was wrong? The point I want to emphasise is that regardless whether the instructor seat is elevated above the trainee's or not - as in the case of the Su-30, it clearly is - it does not decrease the risk of an accident (minor or otherwise). I quote once again from the magazine, a statement from an IAF Fighter Pilot...

Complacency is something which sets in, as a pilot gains experience. Once must guard against complacency and over-confidence, especially when there is paucity of time."
JMO :)

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby JCage » 23 Oct 2003 23:44

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3205857.stm

Indian MiGs 'not poorly maintained'

A team of Russian aviation experts has ruled out poor maintenance as the reason for a spate of crashes of Russian-built MiG-21s used by the Indian air force.
The head of the government-run maintenance company in India, Hindustan Aeronautics, said the Russians were happy with its work.

He said one reason for the crashes could be the contamination of aviation fuel by sub-standard storage tanks.


There have been more than 30 crashes involving the main Indian jet, the Russian-made MiG-21 fighter, in the past year.

Over the past decade, 170 MiGs have been lost - almost all to pilot error.
-************************ ***********************

Earlier in the thread,we had a few reports of how dirt/residue was found in some critical fuel valves of the 21's R25 engine.The above makes sense in conjunction with that report.
Even the Su30 K's when purchased had to have their Al31F's fuel injectors modified since indian avgas didnt suit their "taste" and their were problems.

On a serious note this is again tied to the lack of design data about several components of the 21 and the 27.Modifying any component has a direct affect on the others as well .

Despite HAL/IAF attempts the Russians would rather they get involved then hand over the data to HAL for it to undertake crrectve measures under its own steam.The good side is that w/o waiting for their "approval" HAL/IAF BRD's are still going ahead with their work,lack of design data and all.Modern computer aided design packages are helping them in this regard as is the realisation that the Soviet Union breakup fostered-wake up call,like nothing else.
As Wingco Suresh's article describes,over 200 modifications -Indian-made their way into the MiG27 etc.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Umrao » 23 Oct 2003 23:58


A team of Russian aviation experts has ruled out poor maintenance as the reason for a spate of crashes of Russian-built MiG-21s used by the Indian air force.
He said one reason for the crashes could be the contamination of aviation fuel by sub-standard storage tanks.
Nitin garu>> COuld you please explain the inner contradiction here?

It is almost like upanishads very difficult to understand.

I thought maintenance included, filling aaoil change, petroll change, sparak plug change, kilatch wire check up etc.

Yeah kaya Gas ki bhat ho raha hai?

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby member_201 » 24 Oct 2003 00:22

I just stumbled on Jagan's post about Flt. Lt. Gadgil's fatal crash. No wonder the poor bugger died! This clearly explains what happened to him on that night. What I don't understand is why was he sent on a night sortie, when he was removed off the ops status.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Ashutosh » 24 Oct 2003 00:34

I was actually going to post this in the psy-ops thread yesterday. Notice how the beeb found enough room to squeeze in garbage about the crashes inspite of presenting reasons contradicting the same just a freakin' paragraph above!
Originally posted by nitin:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3205857.stm

There have been more than 30 crashes involving the main Indian jet, the Russian-made MiG-21 fighter, in the past year.

Over the past decade, 170 MiGs have been lost - almost all to pilot error.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2003 11:41

Originally posted by nitin:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3205857.stm

There have been more than 30 crashes involving the main Indian jet, the Russian-made MiG-21 fighter, in the past year. [/b]
I can count only Seven :lol:

Over the past decade, 170 MiGs have been lost - almost all to pilot error.
140 is more like it. The figure 170 would be correct for the period 1991-2003

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby JCage » 24 Oct 2003 14:16

Originally posted by John Umrao:

A team of Russian aviation experts has ruled out poor maintenance as the reason for a spate of crashes of Russian-built MiG-21s used by the Indian air force.
He said one reason for the crashes could be the contamination of aviation fuel by sub-standard storage tanks.
Nitin garu>> COuld you please explain the inner contradiction here?

It is almost like upanishads very difficult to understand.

I thought maintenance included, filling aaoil change, petroll change, sparak plug change, kilatch wire check up etc.

Yeah kaya Gas ki bhat ho raha hai?
They are talking of avgas stored and supplied at IAF bases and elsewhere.Not the maintenance at HAL.Any contaminants in the storage facility would directly affect the engine as well; built up residue in the innards would only be detected when the engine goes for its scheduled check at either BRD or full overhaul(HAL).But in the time period till that point..a crash could occur when the valve gets blocked.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Samir » 24 Oct 2003 18:10

Jagan,

Maybe you should post the COI report on Gadgil in the Gen Aerospace thread as well. Given the amount of discussion that takes place on MiG-21 crashes, I'm surprised there has not been more commentary on the report. I like the idea of making these reports public incidentally.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Umrao » 24 Oct 2003 18:43

Thanks nitin garu.

I have further question on this contaminents.

Are they dissolved particulates?
Or is the contaminent in colloidal form (in micron size and LT ).

Usually a hydraulic fluid pumping or injecting system will have micron size filters in both inlet and outlet areas.

Are the conatminents forming some kind of scaling in the fuel feed system (near the hotter zones or close to combustion chambers).

I am sure all fuel lines are periodically disammbled, washed in disolvents or cleaned using ultra sonic, magnetic or hid speed vibrators.

Just out of academic interest these questions (the mech engineer in me died long time back to reincarinate as a DOO :) )

Besides is it not the same fuel avgas/kerosene that is pumped in other MiG variants?
TIA

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2003 18:51

Samir,

The Above report is not exactly a CoI report - but its a case study that is in public circulation.

The other publicly available report is the one on the recent Srinagar Crash. Though the actual text is not available the press reports have given enough gist of it during the recent press conference.

Couple of Points to note in the report
- 330 hours on Mig-21s in 4.5 years seems quite less
- He had only about 25+ hours of night flying on the type.
- The report mentions the 'Blue Book' and PPRB - what the heck are they?
- There was a technical emergency (Trim override) which converted a normal sortie into a disaster.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby VikramS » 24 Oct 2003 19:46

Originally posted by Jagan:

- There [b]was
a technical emergency (Trim override) which converted a normal sortie into a disaster.[/b]
Can some of the more informed folks tell me what this Trim Override is? Does it mean nose up too soon or at a steeper angle? Is it a result of pilot action or is it a mechanical issue or a combination of both?

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2003 20:16

Originally posted by VikramS:
Originally posted by Jagan:
[b]
- There [b]was a technical emergency (Trim override) which converted a normal sortie into a disaster.[/b]
Can some of the more informed folks tell me what this Trim Override is? Does it mean nose up too soon or at a steeper angle? Is it a result of pilot action or is it a mechanical issue or a combination of both?[/b]
Something to do with the elevator trim. It inadvertantly got disturbed and pushed the tail down and the aircraft enters a high AoA regime. someone told me that the nose pitches up too fast. (prompting the pilot to push the stick forward to get the nose down)

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby JCage » 25 Oct 2003 04:11

Hi John,
If we go by the earlier reports I would wager the contaminants were in both forms ie dissolved and colloidal -but with more of the latter.

Both the September 9 crashes, the letter said, were due to ‘‘flame-out’’ (sudden seizure) in the engine because of faults found in the Rotary Slide Valve (RSV), the critical component that regulates how much fuel reaches the MiG’s engine.

Traces of silica, sodium, calcium, aluminium had jammed the valve causing the accident—metals not from the valve’s material.
Sure same avgas is used for all MiG's but storage may vary from base to base.There could be QA problems at supplier end itself,the earlier set of safeguards & time scheduled testing may have to be chucked out/changed given that the MiG21 engines are getting contaminated with trace amounts of the above. Another thing to consider is that the engines themselves vary-the R25 may not have the same degree of tolerance as the R29.

Anyway given MiG's "export"=survival mantra, they will now perforce cooperate with HAL and IAF to solve all problems/redesign aspects of engine including such aspects as fuel effect on engine etc,even if they hoard their design data.
*********************** ********************

DOO or not the mechy in you is still kicking and how . :)

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Calvin » 25 Oct 2003 05:16

Most of the contamination we see in avgas has to do with water. Typically the avgas is put through a salt drier at a refinery to drop its moisture content down to around 20 ppm. However, depending on the hermetic nature of tanks (i.e., if they are floating roof or not), your water content will typically continue to increase over time.

This water can be dissolved (up to 70ppm) and then will be emulsified. The presence of water will cause iron particulate formation. It doesn't take much to clog injectors or fuel lines. Fluid quality management of fuel is the easiest solution to most of these challenges. Ways of removing particles and free and emulsified water at point of use are available from a number of companies.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Victor » 25 Oct 2003 06:29

Originally posted by Calvin:
Most of the contamination we see in avgas has to do with water
That's nice to know. Specially since there is nothing we can do to prevent it. Or can we?

George J

Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby George J » 25 Oct 2003 20:06

Ummm children,

Avgas is for reciprocating piston engine aircrafts.

Jetfuel/ATF is for jet engined aircrafts.

Me thinks there is a big difference and you certainly cant put avgas in a Mig. If we have been doing that, no wonder we have been crashing.

Futher milgrade jet fuel has a boat load of additives from anti-icing agents to anti-corrosive agents.

Finally there are many a slip between the cup and lip. Just coz the fuel coming out of an IOC refinery is perfect that does NOT mean that the fuel going into your mig is perfect too. Most contamination happens in transportation and transfer to storage and storage to plane, unless you have means to check quality (and remedy it) before the fuel introduced into the aircraft its like 'looking london, talking tokyo.'

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby JCage » 26 Oct 2003 02:29

Gj,
We were referring to whatever fuel goes into MiG's having problems-JF it is.Problems with the MiG21 at any rate.
Anyway the IAF does confirm the quality of the stuff it receives,now they know what to avoid at any rate.Storage as Mohanty says,could be a contributor/culprit as well.

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby AmanC » 27 Oct 2003 12:41

Jagan,
What's the source of Abhijeet Gadgil's case study? You've said open source but have not given the exact name. Could you share it with us?
Regards

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 27 Oct 2003 12:52

Originally posted by aman:
Jagan,
What's the source of Abhijeet Gadgil's case study? You've said open source but have not given the exact name. Could you share it with us?
Regards
first i had reservations about it, but now i found its really there on the net.. so You can download it from here (self explanatory)

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Jagan » 27 Oct 2003 19:14

Originally posted by aman:
Jagan, there is some interesting stuff here. Mmm, I'm licking my lips in anticipation of several stories ;) .[/QB]
yep, many interesting 'stories' and not just those related to attrition but also related with other current stuff

-Jagan

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Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby Umrao » 27 Oct 2003 19:29

Originally posted by George J:
Ummm children,

Avgas is for reciprocating piston engine aircrafts.

Jetfuel, <u>ATF</u> is for jet engined aircrafts.

Me thinks there is a big difference and you certainly cant put avgas in a Mig. If we have been doing that, no wonder we have been crashing.

Futher milgrade jet fuel has a boat load of additives from anti-icing agents to anti-corrosive agents.

Finally there are many a slip between the cup and lip. Just coz the fuel coming out of an IOC refinery is perfect that does NOT mean that the fuel going into your mig is perfect too. Most contamination happens in transportation and transfer to storage and storage to plane, unless you have means to check quality (and remedy it) before the fuel introduced into the aircraft its like 'looking london, talking tokyo.'
You mean 'ATF' like Automatic transmission fluid?

George J

Re: MiG-21 News & Discussion

Postby George J » 27 Oct 2003 19:39

Aviation Turbine Fuel a.k.a Jet Fuel

Avgas is a term used EXCLUSIVELY for non jet aviation fuel used in reciprocating piston engined aircraft.

In the Indian context the fuel used in the HPT-32 is NOT the same as that used in Mig-21. Very different composition and octane ratings.


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