An IAF Mig 27 aircraft crashed near Jodhpur near the Air Base on 13 Jun 16 at about 1130 hrs. The aircraft was airborne from Jodhpur Air Base and was on a routine training-flying sortie. The pilot ejected safely. A Court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate into the accident.
“The MiG-27, which had taken off from Jodhpur Air Force Station, developed some technical problem and hit a locked house in Kuri Bhagtasni housing board at about 11:30 AM,” DM Vishnu Charan Mallik said.
The plane caught fire after the crash and fire fighters were rushed to douse the blaze.
“The pilot ejected safely seconds before the crash,” said Mallik.
IAF sources said the pilot had reported a technical problem and sought priority landing.
However, as the engine had failed, he had to eject, the sources said.
ACP Jodhpur (West) Sima Hingonia said a portion of the house where the plane crashed was damaged.
The crash comes at a time when the India Air Force’s fleet of aircraft is depleting. MiGs are commonly referred to as ‘flying coffins’, given the number of crashes that have happened in the last few years.
MiGs are not the only aircraft of IAF that have developed trouble in the last few years. In the past, India’s frontline fighter aircraft Su30 MKIs have also faced problems. There have been 34 occasions between April 1, 2014 and March 31 this year, when Sukhoi 30 MK-I fighter jets were forced to land on single engine due to mid-air engine problems.
Despite the issues that IAF faces with its current fleet, the government is yet to crack a deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets with France. Negotiations between the two countries have been stuck for quick some time now, despite movement on both sides to address the hurdles blocking the deal. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is trying to crack a deal that would mean less outgo of money from India’s end, but both countries are yet to settle on a final price.
(With inputs from PTI)