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MiG-21 crashes in Rajasthan, pilot killed

Last updated on: July 15, 2013 13:27 IST

A MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed on Monday while landing at Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan's Barmer district, killing the pilot.

"One MiG–21 Bison crashed at the Uttarlai airbase at about 0930 hours. The pilot sustained fatal injuries," the IAF said in a statement.

The aircraft had taken off with its flight lieutenant-rank pilot from the airbase for a routine training sortie and crashed while landing at the runway, officials said.

Defence ministry spokesperson in Jodhpur Colonel S D Goswami said a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the reason behind the crash.

There was no reported loss to civilian life or property, he said.

In June, a MiG-21 plane from the same airbase had crashed, but the pilots had managed to eject safely. The vintage MiG-21s have been in service for over 40 years now and they are expected to continue flying till 2018-19 in view of the delays in the induction of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft.

The IAF had inducted over 900 MiG-21s in its fleet over a period of 40 years, half of which were lost in different crashes.

This year, this is the sixth crash involving an IAF aircraft and fifth of a fighter plane.

The aircraft which have crashed this year include one each of MiG-29, MiG-27, Su-30MKI and Mi-17V5 medium-lift helicopter. Two MiG-21s have crashed this year.

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