MiG-27 crashes in Rajasthan, pilot ejects to safety

A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident

MiG-27 crashes in Rajasthan, pilot ejects to safety

An IAF spokesperson said Flight Lieutenant A Patni was “on a routine training mission” when the aircraft crashed 60 km south of Jodhpur. Patni “ejected safely and no damage to civilian life or property was reported on the ground,” the spokesperson said. The crash took place 15 minutes after the take-off at two kilometre height.

A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident, an Indian Air Force official said. This is the fourth MiG-27 accident in the year, out of which the last three happened within a span of five months. The previous two crashes occurred at Hashimara and Kalaikunda in July and September respectively.

The most serious accident took place in February in north Bengal in which the pilot was killed. The entire fleet of five squadrons was grounded for a thorough check. All the crashes were suspected to be due to an engine flaw.

After the February grounding, the fighters – inducted in the 1980s but upgraded later – are now being cleared for flying one by one after a thorough check by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, which is now at the receiving end allegedly for not paying adequate attention to the MiG-27 programme.

This year witnessed a spurt in MiG-27 accidents as there were only 5 MiG-27 crashes in the last two years. Unlike the popular Russian-make fighters, MiG-27 has few takers. It is currently in service only in India, Kazakh and Sri Lankan air forces.  

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