The Indian air force has yet to come out with a preliminary report on the fatal crash of one of its Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports, which resulted in the deaths of five experienced aircrew.

"Investigations as part of the Court of Inquiry are currently underway, and we have nothing further to add at the moment," the air force says.

The aircraft's flight data recorder, which sustained damage in the crash on 28 March, has been recovered from the accident site. “To avoid any loss of data while trying to decode the equipment, we have decided to send the black box to the US,” the Press Trust of India quoted an air force spokesperson as saying.

"At the request of the Indian air force, Lockheed Martin is assisting with its investigation," the company says.

Indian C-130J crash - Rex Features

Rex Features

Bearing the tail number KC-3803, the aircraft was the third of six C-130Js that were delivered to the Indian air force between 2010 and 2012. It was the second Hercules in a two-aircraft training sortie, and had taken off from Agra before crashing near Gwalior air base. The lead aircraft later landed safely.

The ill-fated transport was commanded by Wg Cdr Prashant Joshi, an experienced pilot who was deputy formation leader when three C-130Js took part in the type's inaugural flypast at India’s Republic Day parade in 2012.

Having taken delivery of all six C-130Js from its original 2008 order, New Delhi decided late last year to acquire an additional six. There is no indication as yet whether a further example could be added to this requirement as a result of this crash.

Source: Flight International