A Mig-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed in Shoba Sar ki Dhani area in Rajsthan’s Bikaner today (Friday, March 8) afternoon. However, the pilot managed to eject safely.
According to the sources, the Mig-21 took off from Nal on a routine mission when it suffered a technical problem. Initial inputs suggest that the aircraft malfunctioned due to a bird hit, a defense spokesperson said.
Today afternoon a MiG-21 aircraft on a routine mission crashed after getting airborne from Nal near Bikaner. Pilot of the aircraft ejected safely. Initial inputs suggest a bird hit. CoI will be investigating the cause of the accident.@PMOIndia @nsitharaman @PIB_India @IAF_MCC— Defence Spokesperson (@SpokespersonMoD) March 8, 2019
The cause of accident will be investigated by a court of enquiry.
In recent times, Indian Air Force has witnessed a series of Mig jet and chopper crashes.
On February 27, a Mi17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force had crashed at Budgam in Kashmir. All six IAF personnel on board the chopper were killed. A civilian was also killed in the crash.
On February 1, a Mirage 2000 fighter jet had crashed during a routine testing flight. Both the pilots in the jet had died after their safety equipment gave way. The pilots were on an “acceptance sortie” of the Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft after it was overhauled by the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
From 1963-2015 the MiG-21 has had a total of 210 accidents. Of these, a maximum of 16 accidents took place in 1999, according to the Bharat Rakshak, a database that gathers information on the Indian Armed Forces.
A 2012 India Today report states that MiG aircraft crashes led to the loss of lives of 171 pilots, 39 civilians and eight persons from other services. The report further mentioned that the cause of accidents to be both due to human errors and technical deficits.