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Home > News > PTI

Mig-27 wreckage located, pilot untraced

June 04, 2004 19:19 IST

Nearly a fortnight after it went missing, the wreckage of the Indian Air Force's MiG-27 fighter aircraft was found in thick jungles 18km northeast of Bagdogra airport in West Bengal but the fate of its pilot, Pilot Squadron Leader V Sinha, remains unknown.

The wreckage was located near the Indo-Bhutan Border by IAF rescue helicopters, an IAF spokesman said here today. However, it would not be possible for the ground party to reach the wreckage in the course of the day considering the dense forest.

"The IAF launched a search with two helicopters from the Bagdogra airport after local police had reported that some villagers had sighted the wreckage," he said adding the wreckage was found within Indian territory and not in Bhutan.

The spokesman said the villagers had identified the wreckage on the basis of leaflets dropped by IAF choppers in the area. When the helicopters resumed the search on Friday after making two abortive attempts on Thursday, they sighted the wreckage in thick jungles.

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Following the sighting, he said ground search parties, including army and police personnel, were sent to the area deep inside Gulma Reserve Forest to find the whereabouts of the pilot and retrieve the wreckage.

The fighter jet had disappeared from the radar screen some time after taking off from Hashimara airfield on its way to Bagdogra, a distance of a little over 100km, during a training sortie.

It is believed the pilot may be nearby because his last communication said, "I can see the control tower of Bagdogra."


More reports from West Bengal
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