A MiG-29 fighter aircraft used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Nawanshahr in Punjab on Friday morning while carrying out a routine training mission. The IAF pilot Wing Commander MK Pandey ejected safely after the plane developed a technical fault.
The Soviet-made jet had taken off from Adampur Air Force Station near Jalandhar which is the second-largest military airbase of India. The No. 47 and No 203 Squadrons of the IAF are stationed at this base.
Adampur Base played a crucial role in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as it is within 100 km from the Indo-Pak border.
Today around 10:30 in the morning, an IAF fighter jet crashed into the fields here. An IAF spokesperson confirmed that the MiG-29 aircraft was on a training mission from an Air Force base near Jalandhar.
Government of Punjab tweeted: “A MIG Fighter Plane crashed at Chuharpur Village District Nawanshahar today. The Pilot is safe and has been taken to nearby Samundra Village of Hoshiarpur”.
MIG-29 is a twin-engine fighter jet designed in the Soviet Union, which made its debut flight back in 1977. During the 1970s, the Soviet-made MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighter jets F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Its primary users include Russian Aerospace Forces, Indian Air Force, Uzbekistan Air and Air Defence Forces, and Polish Air Force.
On today’s incident, the IAF spokesperson said the pilot has been rescued by a helicopter and a Court of Inquiry as per standard procedure has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.
One Mig-29 aircraft airborne on a training mission from an Air Force base near Jalandhar met with an accident. The aircraft had developed a technical snag&the pilot ejected safely as he was unable to control the aircraft. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered:Indian Air Force (IAF) pic.twitter.com/EPwKNoqtbn
— ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2020
In a statement shortly the IAF official said: “One Mig-29 aircraft airborne on a training mission from an Air Force base near Jalandhar met with an accident. The aircraft had developed a technical snag and the pilot ejected safely as he was unable to control the aircraft. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered”.
The Indian Air Force has lost several MiG 21 trainers and MiG 29 fighter jets in crashes due to technical snag in recent years.
It is pertinent to recall that on 26th Feb 2019, another variant of MIG, the MiG-21 fighters were up against much more modern Pakistani jets during aerial skirmishes.
Indian planes had crossed the line of control with Pakistan and claimed to have bombed what New Dehli described as a terrorist training camp near Balakot. Ever since, Islamabad has denied the Indian side of the story and provided sufficient evidence to back up its argument.
On Feb. 27, 2019, Pakistani F-16s and other planes crossed the line of control to attack Indian forces, New Delhi claimed. Indian MiG-21s were scrambled to intercept when Islamabad shot down two MiG-21s of the IAF.
An Indian Air Force MiG-21 pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani security forces. He was subsequently released as a goodwill gesture.