IAF pilot killed in MiG-21 plane crash

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) Tuesday lost a combat pilot when a MiG-21 fighter jet he was flying crashed near Bikaner in Rajasthan.

'The MiG-21 Type-96 crashed today. The pilot has died,' an IAF officer told IANS here. The pilot's identity will not be released till his family is informed.

The crash took place in the precincts of Nal air base around midday, an IAF release said.

'The aircraft was returning from a routine training mission and crashed during the landing phase, tragically killing the pilot,' the release said. There was no damage to any property or injury to anyone on ground.

An inquiry has been ordered to investigate the reasons for the accident.

MiG-21 jets of the IAF have earned the sobriquet 'flying coffin' following a string of crashes.

This is the second crash of a MiG series plane this year.

The other MiG-21 Bison plane crash took place Feb 4 reportedly due to an engine problem while on a routine sortie in Madhya Pradesh's Sheopur district. But the pilot survived.

Of the 10 IAF fighter plane crashes reported in 2010, four were MiG-27s and two MiG-21s.