Mig-29 crashes near Jamnagar; pilots safe | india | Hindustan Times
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Mig-29 crashes near Jamnagar; pilots safe

IAF sources said preliminary reports indicated the pilots had to eject out after they reported engine burn-out.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 19:49 IST

A day after Indian Air Force claimed to have achieved an all-time low in air crashes rate, a Mig-29 fighter aircraft crashed into the sea near Jamnagar city but both the pilots managed to bail out safely.

A trainer version of the fighter, which was on a routine training mission from Bhuj airbase, crashed soon after take off and plunged into the sea near Jamnagar at 12.10 pm, according to an IAF spokesman in Ahmedabad.

"Both the pilots Wing Commander Nautiyal and Squadron leader Mahal managed to eject safely over the sea and were later rescued by IAF helicopters", he said.

IAF sources said preliminary reports indicated the pilots had to eject out after they reported engine burn-out.

IAF has instituted a Court of Inquiry to probe the cause of the crash.

This was the first crash of a Mig-29 fighter in the last three years. IAF is at present upgrading the fighters.

The Navy has also contracted for purchase of Naval version of these fighters to operate from the deck of the warship Admiral Groshkov which India is acquiring from Russia.

Air Marshal PS Ahluwalia, Director General of Flight Safety at Air Headquarters, had claimed on Tuesday that the accident rate has been brought down to an all-time low this year.

"From an all-time high of 1.84 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying in 1972-73, we have brought down the accident rate to all-time low of 0.44 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying in 2005-06", he said.