A Sukhoi aircraft, awaiting induction in the Indian Air Force, crashed near Maharashtra's Nashik city today morning.
"There were no casualties as both the pilots ejected safely before the plane hit ground," police said.
The under-production Sukhoi Su-30MKI twinjet multirole air superiority fighter of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited crashed in a farm at Wavi-Thushi village near Pimpalgaon Baswant town, around 25km from Nashik.
Aircraft was first of batch produced at HAL-Nashik this year
The aircraft crashed at 11.05am and the Pimpalgaon police station received information about the crash at 11.15am.
The aircraft, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under license by HAL, had taken off from the HAL airstrip near Nashik, police said.
A top official involved with the aircraft production said that the Sukhoi was the first of the batch produced at HAL Nashik this year.
Aircraft costs Rs. 300 crore with 3 years manufacturing cycle
"Normally around 12 aircraft for a new squadron are manufactured and each aircraft, worth over Rs. 300 crore, has a manufacturing-cycle of around 3 years," the official said.
"This particular aircraft had completed several flights and was about to be inducted into the IAF," he said.
Before induction, such aircraft are flown by either HAL or IAF pilots under deputation with HAL, he added.
Villagers saw three parachutes in the sky
Asked about villagers seeing three parachutes in the sky, the official involved with the aircraft production said the illusion of the third parachute may be due to the canopy opening first before both the pilots ejected to safety.