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An Indian Air Force pilot was killed after a MiG-21 fighter aircraft crashed near Punjab's Moga late on Thursday night.

According to IAF officials, the aircraft was on a routine training sortie when the accident happened.

The pilot has been identified as IAF MCC Squadron leader Abhinav Chaudhary.

"There was an aircraft accident last night involving a Bison aircraft of IAF in the western sector. The pilot, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary, sustained fatal injuries. IAF condoles the tragic loss and stands firmly with the bereaved family," said the IAF in a statement.

A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to investigate the cause of the incident.

After the incident, Moga SP (HQ) Gurdeep Singh said: "Pilot was MCC squadron leader Abhinav Chaudhary. His body was found two kms away from the crash spot after a search of four hours. The parachute was found open and SOS was also sent from his device but he had died by then."

He also confirmed that no other loss of life has been reported.

Earlier on 17 March, another IAF pilot had died after a MiG-21 Bison fighter jet crashed while taking off at Gwalior.

The aircraft, inducted into the Indian Air Force in the early 1960s, is often called the “flying coffins" due to their poor safety record. According to official data, more than 20 MiG 21s have been involved in accidents since 2010.


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