IAF MiG-29 crashes in Punjab's Nawanshahr, pilot ejects safely

Nawanshahr (Punjab)/New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) A MiG-29 multi-role fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in Chuharpur village near Jalandhar in Punjab on Friday after it developed a technical snag, officials said.

The pilot of the jet ejected safely, they said.

'One MiG-29 aircraft airborne on a training mission from an air force base near Jalandhar met with an accident. The aircraft had developed a technical snag and the pilot ejected safely as he was unable to control the aircraft,' the IAF said in a statement.

An IAF fighter jet crashed into the fields here, Nawanshahr Deputy Commissioner Vinay Bublani said. Officials said the plane crashed around 10.30 AM.

The IAF said the pilot was rescued by a helicopter and that a court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

'The pilot is perfectly fine,' Hoshiarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Garg said, adding that he was taken to the community health centre at Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur district.

The aircraft took off from the Adampur Air Force base in Jalandhar, the officials said.

Two fire tenders were pressed into service as the plane burst into flames after the crash, they said.

At present, the IAF has three squadrons of the Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets and two of them are stationed at the Adampur Air Force station. One squadron comprises 16 to 18 aircraft.

The fleet was upgraded around two years back following which they gained in strength and ferocity.

In the 1999 Kargil War, the MiG-29 fleet played an important role in destroying enemy fortifications.

The IAF has lost a number of MiG 29s in crashes in the last few years.

In February, a MiG-29K fighter jet of the Indian Navy crashed near Goa.

Friday's crash comes, around three weeks after a brand new AH-64E Apache attack helicopter of the IAF made an emergency landing in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab. PTI CORR CHS VSD MPB ANB ANB ANB