iconimg Wednesday, July 08, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Barmer, June 07, 2013
A MiG-21 aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Friday crashed in Rajasthan's Barmer district, with the pilot ejecting safely. The aircraft had taken off from Uttarlai air force station and was on a routine sortie. Defence spokesmen colonel SD Goswami said on Friday around 9am, a MiG-21 Bioson took off for a routine training session from Uttarlai air force station in Barmer. There was no loss of life as flying officer of the aircraft, Sandhu, had ejected safely before the plane crashed.

This is the second such incident this year. Earlier, on February 12, a MiG-27 crashed in Barmer. In 2011, a MiG-21 crashed in Barmer. The IAF plans to phase out non-upgraded MiG-27 and MiG-21 by March 2016 and 2018 respectively. Following such incidents, the Barmer oil field was recently declared 'no-fly-zone' by the government.

Barmer Superintendent of Police (SP) Rahul Bareth said the aircraft crashed in an open field, which is away from the village, and there was no report of property loss. A helicopter was sent from Jodhpur airbase to rescue the pilot.

The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause of the crash.