A MiG 21 fighter aircraft crashed on Thursday afternoon soon after taking off from the Indian Air Force base at Chabua in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district. Flying Officer Hemant Dave, who ejected in the nick of time, sustained minor injuries.
According to Defence spokesperson Ranjib Sahoo, a court of inquiry has been ordered into the MiG 21 crash. The plane nosedived into a shallow pond at Teok Jaligaon near the IAF base and burst into flames around 1.45 pm.
An entire fleet of MiG21 aircraft, often referred to as ‘flying coffin’, had been shifted to Chabua from the IAF’s Tezpur air base to make way for a fleet of new Sukhoi 30s.
Notably, this was the second crash involving IAF aircraft over the Northeast Indian air space in less than a fortnight. On June 9, an AN-32 transport aircraft had crashed near Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh killing 13 on board including seven IAF officers.