A MiG-27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in a densely populated area on the outskirts of Barmer in Rajasthan on Tuesday, but no casualties were reported after the pilot ejected to safety, the army said.
Parts of the plane’s wreckage, however, fell on a biker and injured him. The aircraft was on a routine sortie and crashed at 3.10pm, confirmed army spokesperson Manish Ojha. He said the air force had sent a search and rescue team and ordered a court of inquiry.
This is the second crash involving an Air Force plane this month. An unmanned military aerial vehicle crashed on January 9 in Barmer.
The Soviet-era ground-attack planes have a poor safety record and are only used by India, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan. The government announced in 2012 that over 200 people had lost their lives in 482 MiG accidents in the past 40 years. The MiG-27 planes were inducted into the air force in the 1980s and some were upgraded later.
The Indian Air Force plans to phase out the non-upgraded MiG-27s and MiG-21s by March 2016 and 2018, respectively. The MiG-27s had a relatively clean record until 2010 that saw four crashes.