Accidents & Disasters

MIG 27 Crashes In Jaisalmer District During Routine Mission

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Published:

A MIG-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed Tuesday in Eta village in Pokaran tehsil of Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, a defence official said.

The pilot ejected safely, Defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh said.

"A MIG 27 aircraft airborne from Jaisalmer crashed during a routine mission today evening. Pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident," Ghosh said.

Jaisalmer SP Kiran Kang said no casualty has been reported so far, and a police team is in touch with Air Force officials.

She said a police team rushed to the spot. 

A few hours before the accident, in Delhi, IAF's Vice Chief Air Marshal Anil Khosla, during an interaction with reporters, had said that life of a pilot is the most important, and then other factors come lower in priority list.

"Whenever accidents are reported, the first reaction of senior officers is --  Is the pilot safe? Then, loss of life on ground due to crash of an aircraft, and then the question  is about the whereabouts of the aircraft, and its safety. This is the sequence which takes place," he had said.

The senior IAF officer also said that more awareness need to be raised about bird activity, which is one of the factors for crash incidents, and hinted about civilian habitations near airfields drawing bird activity.

Earlier airlfields used to be located in wilderness, but now there is lot of built area near lot of these bases, and solid waste attracts birds and, chances of accidents increase, he had said in the press conference.

On February 1, Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport in Bengaluru killing both the pilots.

Squadron Leaders Samir Abrol and Siddhartha Negi, both from Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, conducting an acceptance sortie of aircraft, which had been newly upgraded by state-run aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Last year, MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the IAF had crashed in an agricultural field in Jodhpur's Banad area during a routine mission.

Khosla said, "We remember the two pilots we lost earlier. It really hurts, they are like our family member."

He said, however, the rate of such incidents after 2011-12 were lower than before it.

"We had instituted related measures after 2011-12, related to training, procedures, reorganisation, and thereafter the rate lowered," he said.

He asserted that the process of investigation into any accident is a "very scientific and advanced one".

The press interaction in Delhi was held on the IAF's fire power demonstration Vayu Shakti 2019 scheduled to be held at Phokran ranges later this week.