An Indian Air Force (IAF) MIG-23 training aircraft on Thursday crashed in Balesar region in Jodhpur. As per an ANI report, the aircraft with 3 people on board crashed soon after taking off. No casualties have been reported so far. Engine failure is reportedly said to be the reason behind the crash. Both the pilots ejected safely soon after the crash and a court of inquiry has been ordered to understand the reason behind the crash. This accident makes it the second crash within a week as on July 4, an Indian Air Force helicopter went missing which was found after 24 hours but only after a massive search operation conducted by the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police along with Arunachal Pradesh Police and India Reserve Battalion. The debris of the chopper was found in Papum Pare district. Speaking about the incident with Indian Express, Shombit Ghosh, Defence PRO Lt Col said, “The last contact the pilot had with the ground was at 3:50 PM,”
An official of the Papum Pare district sent a radio message to state Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin and other officials in Itanagar, saying that the wreckage of the Indian Air Force helicopter had been spotted at an inaccessible deep gorge at Sopo Yuha about 3 pm, repored IANS. The crash site was reportedly near Hostalam village, about 30 km from Itanagar. “We have located the wreckage and two mutilated bodies of the crew members in a deep gorge near the waterfalls,” said Inspector General of Police, Law and Order, Nabin Payeng.
Though the chopper wreckage was founded by the IAF team aerial survey, the IAF ground party is yet to reach the wreckage site to ascertain it. When asked from official in New Delhi, they said that it is not certain that the wreckage found was of the helicopter that went missing on Tuesday while engaged in flood evacuation. “The search is continuing. Certain leads that the ground parties obtained will be intensively searched once the weather clears tomorrow,” an IAF official told IANS.
The helicopter went missing on July 4 at 3:50 pm soon after taking off from Pilputu Helipad near Sagalee for the Naharlagun heliport. The chopper was reportedly evacuating people stranded in Sagalee and Dambuk due to massive landslides caused by heavy rains.