Ludhiana: A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Tuesday crashed near Halwara air base in Punjab, but the pilot bailed out safely.
The crash took place at around 11.15a.m just outside the Sidwan Khas Range in Halwara, 33 km from Ludhiana.
“A MiG-21 Type-96 aircraft crashed around 11.15 hours near S K Range near Halwara air base. The pilot ejected from the cockpit safely,” an IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi.
“The pilot had flown the plane from Pathankot air base for a routine armament training sortie at the range in Halwara when the mishap occurred,” he said.
With today’s crash, the IAF has lost three fighter jet planes this year.
It had lost a MiG-27 warplane on 16 February this year in a crash near Hashimara and a MiG-21 Type-77 fighter aircraft on 19 February at Bagdogra, both in West Bengal.
In the Hashimara crash, the pilot, Wing Commander Oswald, was killed, while in the Bagdogra mishap, the pilot ejected out of the cockpit safely.
Last year, the IAF was hit by 11 crashes and five of them involved variants of the MiG-21 fighter planes.