Indian Air Force  Representational Image
Indian Air Force Representational ImageReuters

A Russian-make fighter jet MiG-29 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in the early hours of Friday. No casualties have been reported.

 "The pilot ejected safely. There is no reported damage on the ground to any civil life or property," IAF said in a press release.

The twin-seater trainer aircraft that took off from Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat crashed within minutes. It was on a routine flying training sortie.

The IAF personnel flew to the accident spot in Chetak and Mi-8 helicopters and rushed the pilot to a military hospital in Jamnagar air base.

This has been the seventh reported incident of IAF plane crash. The last crash of MiG-29 was fatal when the 26-year-old pilot died in the accident on July 15 this year. The incident took place near Uttarlai in Rajasthan. Another crash was on June 24 where a MiG-29 had crashed near Jamnagar.

The other aircrafts that have crashed this year include a MiG-27, MiG-21, a Su-30MKI and a Mi-17V5 medium-lift helicopter.

The MiG crashes have resulted in death of more than 170 pilots and 40 civilians in past 40 years according to the IAF records. As a result, the crashes gave a nickname to the MiG series as "flying coffin" and the "widow maker". The reasons for crash have been human error, technical defects and bird strikes.

Incidentally, India has been the first international customer for these fighter planes acquiring about 800 fighter planes from Russia. The IAF has a fleet of over 200 MiG-21s in 12 squadrons, 100 MiG-27s in five squadrons and 60 MiG-29s in service. India plans to phase out the MiG-21s by 2019.

"A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the cause of the accident," IAF added. 

Quick Links