MiG-21 crashes near Bikaner, pilot safe

MiG-21 crashes near Bikaner, pilot safe

A MIG-21 aircraft. PTI file photo for representation

Indian Air Force on Friday lost another MiG-21 that took off from the Nal airbase near Bikaner and crashed within minutes.

While pilot of the aircraft ejected safely, IAF was quick to point out that bird hit possibly was the trigger behind the crash.

“On Friday afternoon a MiG-21 aircraft on a routine mission crashed after getting airborne from Nal near Bikaner. Initial inputs indicate the likely cause as the bird hit after take off. The pilot of the aircraft ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident,” the IAF said in a statement.

This is the seventh aircraft that the IAF lost in 2019. January saw one Jaguar crash in Uttar Pradesh, but February was particularly bad for the IAF that lost five aircraft including two Hawks that collided mid-air in the Surya Kiran aerobatics show during Aero India.

Three other ill-fated aircraft were a Mirage-2000 (crash in Bengaluru); a MiG-21 that was hit by a Pakistani F-16 in a dogfight on February 27 and a Mi-17 helicopter that crashed under mysterious circumstances near Srinagar on the same day, killing all the six men on-board.