IAF MiG crashes, pilot safe

Friday, February 4, 2011

GWALIOR - A Soviet-era MiG-21 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Madhya Pradesh Friday but there were no casualties as the pilot ejected safely, an official said.

The incident occurred at around 11.20 a.m. at Anup Nagar, 150 km southwest of this Madhya Pradesh town, an IAF spokesperson said here.

“The pilot ejected safely and was picked up the IAF,” he said.

The crash comes after the Indian Army Wednesday lost two of its experienced pilots when their helicopter crashed into a residential area in Maharashtra’s Nashik city.

In the last three years, a total of 60 aircraft, including MiG-21 and helicopters, have crashed, killing 43 personnel of the Indian armed forces and five civilians.

The IAF is in the process of replacing its ageing MiG-21s that have earned the sobriquet “flying coffins” due to the high rate of air crashes in the late 1990s and the early years of this century.

In 2010, the Indian armed forces suffered over a dozen air accidents including four army Cheetah crashes at Nagrota and Kalsi in Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim and Nagaland.

An Indian Air Force Cheetah helicopter crash-landed in the Siachen glacier in the second week of November but without any casualties.

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