An Indian Air Force's MiG-21 fighter jet crashed in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, July 18. The pilot, Squadron Leader Meet Kumar, was killed in the crash.
The aircraft is said to have taken off from the Pathankot air base in Punjab and crashed in Patta Jattiyan in Jawali subdivision of the Kangra district. A rescue team has reached the spot and search operations are on.
Confirming the crash, Kangra Superintendent of Police (SP) Santosh Patial said that the aircraft came down around 1.30 pm.
Meanwhile, the MiG-21 of Russian origin is often referred to as the "flying coffin" and "widowmaker" due to its poor record.
The crash comes weeks after an IAF Sukhoi jet crashed in Maharashtra's Nashik. The pilots in the June 27 crash had managed to eject safely.
The Indian Air Force has been dogged by quite a few crashes in the recent past. The IAF lost a Jaguar aircraft in Gujarat's Mundra district of Kutch on June 5, and the pilot was also reported dead.
"Today morning a Jaguar aircraft on a routine training mission from Jamnagar crashed around 10:30 hours. The pilot Air Cmde Sanjay Chauhan sustained fatal injuries during the crash," Times Now quoted said Lt Col Manish Ojha as saying.
The wreckage of the crash was seen spread all over the field and a few cows grazing in the area were also killed.
Chauhan, a station commander, was one of the senior-most officers of the IAF. His rank is known to be equivalent to that of a Brigadier in the army.
Before that, an IAF chopper crash-landed in Kashmir's Natha Top on May 23. All the passengers and crew were safe.
An Mi-17 chopper crashed in Uttarakhand's Kedarnath in April and six people were injured in the mishap.
Meanwhile, two IAF pilots were killed in a crash in Assam's Majuli island in February, minutes after taking off in a microlight aircraft for a routine sortie. The aircraft had taken off from the Jorhat air base.