Pilot safe as IAF MiG-29 crashes | india | Hindustan Times
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Pilot safe as IAF MiG-29 crashes

The fighter takes off from the Adampur air force base, 20 km from Jalandhar, at around 4 pm and crashed within two minutes.

india Updated: May 08, 2007 21:24 IST

An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed near Jalandhar on Tuesday but the pilot ejected safely.

The pilot was identified as Lt Commander Vikram Chauhan of the Indian Navy. He was on attachment to the IAF to train on the MiG-29 ahead of its deployment on the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that will be joining the navy fleet next year, an IAF spokesman said in New Delhi.

The fighter took off from the Adampur air force base, 20 km from Jalandhar, at around 4 pm and crashed within two minutes, the spokesman added.

The fighter was on a routine sortie. It crashed near Dharoli Khurd village, missing some houses by just 200 metres.

"The crash occurred immediately on take off. The pilot ejected safely," the IAF spokesman said.

The pilot was admitted to the military hospital in Jalandhar and is being kept under observation. A court of inquiry had been ordered.

Fighters from the Adampur base will participate in an Indian Army-IAF joint exercise starting near Jalandhar on May 11.

Three IAF MiG-29s have crashed in the past 11 months.

In September 2006, a MiG-29 that had taken off from Adampur crashed while preparing to land at Ambala. The pilot ejected safely.

In June, a twin-seat trainer version crashed into the sea off India's west coast but both pilots bailed out safely.

Tuesday's is the fifth crash of an IAF aircraft this year.

A Jaguar fighter had crashed at the Nal air base in Rajasthan on January 18. An indigenously developed Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) had crashed on February 2 while rehearsing for the Aero India international air show at Yelahanka near Bangalore. A MiG-21 fighter met a similar fate near Kurseong in West Bengal on March 1.

On April 11, two pilots were killed when a Cheetah helicopter crashed over the Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir.

Soon after assuming office last month, the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Major, had said the force had recorded its lowest rate of 0.36 per cent accidents in its 75-year history.