A MIG 21 aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed during a training sortie in Rajasthan’s Barmer on the night of 28th July. The unfortunate accident took the lives of two pilots. The twin-seater trainer aircraft had taken off for a training session from Barmer’s Utarlai air base.
MIG 21 has taken the lives of many young soldiers in recent times. As late as 20 may, in a crash in Punjab’s Moga, pilot Abhinav Choudhary died.
The Air Force, while immediately constituting a court inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident tweeted: “At 9:10 pm this evening, an IAF MiG 21 trainer aircraft met with an accident in the western sector during a training sortie. Both pilots sustained fatal injuries. IAF deeply regrets the loss of lives and stands firmly with the bereaved families”
The crash site is identified as Isramon ka Tala village under Baytu police station limits, about 37 kilometres north of district headquarters. The police were informed by the locals around 9 PM. The crash was such a massive incident that the debris was spread over a kilometre area. Initially, it was not even possible to ascertain if there was one pilot or two. The unconfirmed talk of among the villagers was that the impact left a crater about 15 feet deep.
A fleet of 874 Mig 21 was introduced in the Air Force in 1963 proceed from the Soviets. Though it remained the backbone of the Indian Air Force, more than 400 of these jets have crashed since 19773, killing over 200 pilots and another 50 people on the ground,
There have been several upgrades to the MiG-21. These include Type-77, Type-96, and BIS. However, enough problems continue to nickname the fighter plane ” flying coffin”