An Indian Navy MiG-29K twin-seater trainer aircraft crashed a short distance from the Dabolim international airport in Goa on Saturday, November 16, after its engine caught fire following a bird-hit, the Indian Navy said. Both the pilots, Captain M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav, have ejected safely.
The aircraft involved in the crash was a trainer version of the fighter jet. The incident occurred on Saturday around noon, shortly after take-off from the Dabolim international airport, which functions out of an Indian Navy base INS Hansa in South Goa.
The Indian Navy has instituted an enquiry into the incident, a statement said. "At about 11.45 am this morning, a MiG twin-seater aircraft on a routine training sortie encountered a flock of birds after take off from INS Hansa airbase at Dabolim, Goa. The pilot observed the left engine had flamed out and the right engine had caught fire," the Indian Navy statement said.
"Attempts to recover the aircraft were unsuccessful due to damage and low height. The pilot with his presence of mind pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely. An enquiry has been instituted by the Navy... There is no loss of life or damage to property on ground," the statement added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the pilots after tweeted, "Capt Mrigank and Deepak Yadav of the MiG-29K which crashed after the take-off from Goa today. It is a matter of great satisfaction that they managed to eject in time and both of them are safe. I pray for their good health and well-being."