Jaipur, March 8: A MiG-21 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Bikaner in Rajasthan on Friday afternoon during a routine mission after reportedly suffering a bird hit. The pilot managed to eject successfully.
The MiG crashed after getting airborne from Nal, near Bikaner, news agency IANS quoted an IAF spokesperson as saying.
He said initial inputs indicated that the plane crashed after it reportedly hit a bird. A Commission of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident.
A few minutes after taking off, the aircraft lost contact with the Air Traffic Control. Its debris fell in Shobhasar village near Bikaner.
The villagers reported the matter to the local administration, IAF officials and the police. They also saw the pilot parachuting out of the jet.
Te supersonic fighter from the erstwhile Soviet Union last hit the headlines when one of them crashed during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani air forces on February 27, a day after the IAF launched an air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in the neighbouring country’s Balakot. Although the pilot — Abhinandan Varthaman — managed to eject, he was captured by Pakistani authorities after landing on the other side of the border. He was returned to India two days later on March 1.