Jodhpur, June 13: A MiG-27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed today in a residential area of the city, with the pilot ejecting safely. The aircraft was on a routine training sortie from the Jodhpur airbase when it crashed at 1130 hours, soon after take-off.
There were reports of at least three people being injured. Two residential houses have been damaged as the aircraft crashed into them. A Court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
There have been at least six crashes in the last three years, the last one being on August 24, 2015 in a village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district when a MIG-21 Bison aircraft crashed. The pilot had ejected safely then and no injuries were reported.
The previous crashes are as follows:
May 8, 2015 : A MiG-27 crashed in West Bengal’s Tantipara area. The aircraft crashed within 10 minutes of taking off. This crash killed two civilians on the ground. The pilot, however, managed to eject safely.
January 31, 2015: A MiG-21 aircraft crashed west of Jamnagar city on into a mangrove forest. Pilot managed to eject before the crash and landed safely.
May 27, 2014: A MIG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district in Kashmir. The pilot was killed in the crash.
Nov 8,2013 : A MiG-29 crashed near Jamnagar minutes after it took off from an airbase for a routine flying training sortie. The pilot escaped safely.
July 15, 2013: A MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft crashed while landing at Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan’s Barmer district,killing the pilot.
The MiG aircrafts due to its crashing down tendency has earned itself the epithet of ‘flying coffin’ and ‘widow-maker’.
In 2012, a report by the then defence minister A.K. Antony in Parliament had reinforced how the ageing Soviet-era fleet had shockingly been on a wing and a prayer for such a long period but still not grounded. They have formed the backbone of Indian Air Force over the last 40 years.
In 2012, the Rajya Sabha was informed that over the last 40 years, India had lost more than half of its MiG combat fleet of 872 aircraft. The minister had disclosed that ‘482 MiG aircraft accidents took place till April 19, 2012’. Antony also revealed that these crashes led to the loss of precious lives of 171 pilots, 39 civilians and eight persons from other services.