In the eighth mishap this year, a MiG-27 fighter plane of the Indian Air Force on Wednesday crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan shortly after take off for a routine sortie, but the pilot bailed out safely.
"A MiG-27 crashed near Jodhpur to. The pilot is safe," an IAF official said in New Delhi. This is the fourth MiG-27 mishap recorded by the IAF this year.
"The crash took place about 60 km away from here," Defence spokesperson Lt Col N N Joshi said in Jodhpur. The aircraft took off from Jodhpur air base around 1300 hours, but crashed within 20 minutes at a spot 60 km south of the Rajasthan town.
"The pilot, Flt Lt A Patni, reported trouble in the aircraft 15 minutes after take off. The aircraft had attained an altitude of about 2 km when the trouble was reported. The aircraft crashed around 1320 hours," the official said.
The IAF, quickly, ordered a court of inquiry to find out the reasons for the mishap. "The is no report of any loss of life on the ground in the crash which took place in Mandawas village," B L Meena, Superintendent of Police of Pali district, which is near the crash site, said.
"The pilot has been located and is safe," the SP said. The MiG-27 crash comes just a couple of days after a Cheetah helicopter of the IAF crash landed near the Siachen Glacier base camp.
Of the eight air crashes recorded by the IAF this year, MiG-27 was involved in four. The first MiG-27 crash took place on February 16 at Hashimara in West Bengal, the second on June 23 again at Hashimara and the third on September 24 at Kalaikunda in West Bengal.
Apart from the MiG-27s, the IAF also lost two MiG-21 variants this year, one at Bagdogra on February 19 and the other in Halwara in Punjab on June 15.
The IAF also recorded two helicopter crashes this year. Other than the one in Siachen Glacier, IAF lost a Cheetah in Jharkhand on September 11.