The Indian Air Force on Monday, January 28 lost a Jaguar deep penetration strike fighter aircraft in an accident after the plane off from Gorakhpur airbase and crashed in nearby Kushinagar.
The pilot of the aircraft Wing Commander Rohit Katoch managed to eject safely from the plane. While commenting on the incident, Kushinagar's police chief asserted that the police had used his tactical expertise to take the plane away from the populated place nearby.
RN Mishra, SP Kushinagar said, '' There is a populated place nearby, the pilot landed the plane at a distance from the place using his tactical expertise. He saved the lives of others as well as his own''.
IAF spokesperson also informed that an inquiry has been ordered in the incident. ''Today morning, a Jaguar aircraft while on a routine mission from Gorakhpur, crashed. The pilot ejected safely. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident,'' an IAF spokesperson said.
Sources in the Air Force said that prima facie it appears that the twin-engine aircraft had developed some technical defect sometime after the plane took off from Gorakhpur. The crash happened when the pilot was trying to return to Gorakhpur air base and land it there, they said.
The pilot Wg Cdr Katoch is an ace pilot of the Jaguar fighter team and is the flight commander of the 27 Squadron of Jaguars based out of Gorakhpur. The flight commander of a squadron is the second-in-command or the second seniormost officer in the unit.
The IAF has a fleet of around 100 Jaguar flight planes which were imported from Europe in the late 1970s. The force has plans of further upgrading and re-engining the fighter plane which has a long-range strike capability