The pilot ejected to safety, defence spokesperson Colonel Sombit Ghosh said. The aircraft had taken off from the IAF’s Jodhpur airbase.
The aircraft, which had taken off from Jodhpur’s airbase, crashed near a field and burst into flames but the pilot was able to eject from the jet safely. Large crowds had gathered on the field near the crash site.
“A MiG-27 aircraft airborne from Jodhpur crashed during a routine mission today morning. The pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the incident,” defence spokesperson said.
Deputy Commissioner, Jodhpur, Amandeep Singh said no loss of life has been reported in the crash. Singh and other police officials have reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
However, this is not the first crash reported this year. In June 2018, a MiG-21 fighter plane had crashed in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra and the pilot was found dead.
In November 2017, another IAF MiG-27 fighter plane’s tyre burst while landing, after which it got stuck on the runway at Jodhpur airport.
In the past 10 years, 482 aircraft have been destroyed in an air crash. Nearly 50% of the MiGs which Indian Air Force possessed has been put out of service. The toll of fatalities has been increasing over the year due to the accidents. In the past 10 years, nearly 171 pilots, 39 civilians, and 8 IAF personnel have been killed.
Defence experts have urged successive Indian governments to replace the fighter planes, and have termed it as ‘flying coffins’ or ‘widow-makers’ due to its probability of meeting an accident.