Indian Air Force pilot killed as MiG-21 Bison crashes in central India

Published March 17, 2021
An Indian MiG-21 aircraft takes off. — AFP/File
An Indian MiG-21 aircraft takes off. — AFP/File

A pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was killed on Wednesday when his MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in central India, a statement from the IAF said.

Group Captain A. Gupta had taken off for a combat training mission from an airbase before he experienced the fatal accident, said the statement. It added a court of inquiry had been set up to investigate and determine the cause of the accident.

"IAF expresses deep condolences and stands firmly with the family members."

Earlier in January, a MiG-21 Bison aircraft had "experienced a major technical malfunction" during a training exercise.

At the time, the pilot had ejected safely and there was no casualty. A court of inquiry had been ordered to "ascertain the cause of the accident".

A MiG-29K trainer aircraft of the Indian navy had also gone missing in November 2020. A pilot was recovered while an extensive search operation was launched to recover the second pilot and the wreckage of the plane, according to a statement from the spokesperson of the Indian navy.

An IAF pilot was also forced to eject from a MiG-29 aircraft as it crashed in Indian Punjab in May 2020. He was attended to by locals who gave him care and assistance.

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