A Mig-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed near Chabua in Assam on Thursday, dealing another blow air forces’ flight safety record — the IAF has lost five aircraft in accidents in less than two months.
The pilot of the MiG-21, however, ejected and parachuted to safety.
The aircraft took off at 2 pm from the Chabua airbase, within minutes the pilot reported a technical snag, IAF sources said.
With the latest crash the tally this year has touched six.
An air force fighter pilot was killed when a Kiran MK-II trainer crashed near Bidar in Karnataka on January 21.
The worst came when a Sukhoi-30 MKI crashed near Jaisalmer on April 30, killing a pilot and ending the Russia-acquired fighter jet’s 12-year-old safety record.
Two weeks later, a MiG-27 ground-attack aircraft went down near Jodhpur on May 15, followed by a MiG-21 Bison on May 27.
Even before the reasons for the recent fighter crashes could be ascertained, an Antonov-32 transport aircraft went down with 13 soldiers in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh on June 9.
IAF sources said that the aircraft’s black box has been recovered and sent to Jorhat for a data analysis.