Mumbai: An Indian Air Force MiG-21 figher jet crashed in the fields of the Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday even as the pilot managed to eject safely.
A defence ministry spokesperson confirmed the development.
The spokesperson said the MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed at Budgam at 11am on Monday.
“The pilot had got airborne from Srinagar Air Base on a routine training sortie. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the cause of the accident,” the spokesperson tweeted.
In the past three years and the current year up to 20 July, a total of 20 fighter aircraft (three Sukhois, 12 MiG and five Jaguar) of the Air Force have crashed, according to the ministry.
The main reasons for the crashes were technical defect and human error. Two Indian Air Force personnel were killed and two civilians injured in these accidents.
“The loss to the government, in terms of value of aircraft and service property, in respect of 12 accidents assessed so far is estimated at Rs386 crore and loss to civilian property is Rs4,43,800,” defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Lok Sabha on 25 July.
Every Air Force aircraft accident or incident is investigated by a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause of accident and the recommendations of the completed court of inquiry are implemented, the minister had said.
“Various preventive measures like invigoration of Aviation Safety Organization, streamlining of accident reporting procedure, analytical studies and quality audits of the aircraft fleets to identify vulnerable areas have been taken to reduce aircraft accidents. Accident prevention programmes have also been given an added thrust to identify risk prone/hazardous areas specific to the aircraft fleets and operational environment to ensure safe practice / procedures,” Parrikar had said.