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IAF plane crashes in Rajasthan, pilot killed
June 04, 2003 17:28 IST
A MiG-21 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday morning crashed shortly after take off from the Uttarlai Air Base in Rajasthan killing the pilot.
IAF sources said Flight Lt A S Jamwal was killed after the aircraft caught fire soon after take off and plunged into a field in Barmer district.
An IAF spokesman said the MiG was carrying out a low-level flying manouevre when the pilot apparently lost control and the fighter aircraft crashed near Sinadhari in Barmer district at about 0715 IST.
There was no casualty on the ground as the fighter crashed in an uninhabited area.
The aircraft was a Type 75 variant, one of the earliest MiG-21s to be inducted into the IAF and which is in the process of being phased out, the spokesman said.
The debris of the plane was scattered near Dabli village, police said in Jaipur.
A court of inquiry has been ordered.
India is in the process of upgrading its MiG-21 fleet. The project, which involves Russia, India and Israel, seeks to upgrade 125 MiG-21s, two squadrons of which have already been inducted into the IAF.
However, one of the upgraded versions christened MiG-21 Bison, which uses the same R-25 engine, was involved in a crash last year.
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