Ludhiana: A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the
Indian Air Force on Tuesday crashed near Halwara air base in
Punjab, but the pilot bailed out safely.
The crash took place at around 11.15 hours just outside
the Sidwan Khas Range in Halwara, 33 km from here.
"A MiG-21 Type-96 aircraft crashed around 11.15 hours
near S K Range near Halwara air base. The pilot ejected from
the cockpit safely," an IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi.
"The pilot had flown the plane from Pathankot air base
for a routine armament training sortie at the range in Halwara
when the mishap occurred," he said.
With today`s crash, the IAF has lost three fighter jet
planes this year.
It had lost a MiG-27 warplane on February 16 this year in
a crash near Hashimara and a MiG-21 Type-77 fighter aircraft
on February 19 at Bagdogra, both in West Bengal.
In the Hashimara crash, the pilot, Wing Commander Oswald,
was killed, while in the Bagdogra mishap, the pilot ejected
out of the cockpit safely.
Last year, the IAF was hit by 11 crashes and five of them
involved variants of the MiG-21 fighter planes.