Birds cause Navy’s MiG 29K to crash in Goa, probe ordered
A flock of bird caused a MiG 29K fighter jet of the Indian Navy, which was on a training mission, to flameout and crash shortly after taking off in Goa on Saturday, officials said.
The pilots—Captain M Sheokhand and Lieutenant Commander Deepak Yadav—ejected and landed in a residential area in Verna village close to the navy enclave in south Goa and were recovered safely.
“During a training mission, after take off from INS HANSA at Dabolim a Mig 29k trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Capt M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav ejected safely (sic),” the navy tweeted initially.
Watch | MiG 29K fighter jet crashes in Goa, pilots eject safely
A navy spokesperson later said that the crash was on account of a flock of birds.
“A MiG-29K twin-seater aircraft, on a routine training sortie, encountered a flock of birds after taking off from INS Hansa Air Base at Dabolim Goa at about noon on 16 Nov 2019,” a navy statement released shortly after the incident said.
The pilots observed that the left engine had flamed out and the right one had caught fire and an inability to save the aircraft on account of low height caused them to ditch the plane and bail out.
“Attempts to recover the aircraft were unsuccessful due to damage and low height. The pilot, showing presence of mind, pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely,” the navy said.
“The pilots Capt M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav are safe and have been recovered. There has been no loss of life or damage to property on the ground.”
The navy has instituted an inquiry into the crash.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a huge plume of smoke as well as seeing two parachutes descending.
The pilots were initially cared for by local residents after they landed in a residential area and were reported safe and conscious.
The MiG 29K is the aircraft carrier version of the MiG 29 stationed at INS Hansa Dabolim in Goa and designated for INS Vikramaditya, which is stationed some distance away at the Seabird Navy base at Karwar in Karnataka.