IAF fighter MIG-21 crashes in Kashmir, pilot eject safely

Srinagar, Aug 24: An IAF's fighter Mig-21 Bison crashed today near Badgam in Central Kashmir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. The mishap occurred at 1059 hrs as the aircraft was approaching for landing, Colonel N N Joshi, told the defense ministry spokesperson in Srinagar.

"One MiG-21 (Bison) aircraft of IAF crashed at Budgam in J&K at 1100 hrs, today. The pilot got airborne from Srinagar Air Base on a routine training sortie. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to investigate into the cause of the accident," a press statement issued by IAF said in New Delhi.

As the aircraft crashed in the open field, there was no report of any loss of life or property, the spokesperson added. The aircraft was part of an exercise going on under the Western Command of IAF and after landing two aircraft, it was third in line to approach towards the runway, a source said, requesting not to be identified.

"Suddenly pilot noticed engine failure. He tried to restart the engine, but failing in his attempt, he decided to eject," the source, adding that the ejection was safe and successful. This is the 13th accident involving Mig series of aircraft of the IAF in the past three years. During the period a total of 21 fighter aircraft, three Sukhois and five Jaguars, have crashed.

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