An Indian Air Force Pilot died in the wee hours of Friday in an accident involving the MiG-21 Bison aircraft in Punjab.
The aircraft crashed at Langiana Khurd village in Punjab’s Moga district, India Today reported. It was on a routine night training when the accident took place. The flight had taken off from Suratgarh in Rajasthan for Jagraon in Ludhiana. The accident took place when the pilot was returning to Suratgarh.
In a tweet, the IAF offered its condolences to Squadron leader Abhinav Choudhary’s family. It added that a Court of Inquiry was set up to determine the cause of the accident.
Choudhary’s body was found after a four-hour search nearly 2 km away from the crash site. No house or other structure suffered any damage in the village, the police said.
“The parachute was found open and SOS was also sent from his device but he had died by then,” Moga Superintendent of Police Gurdeep Singh told The Indian Express. “He tried to land safely using a parachute but apparently broke his neck and spinal cord. IAF officials from Bathinda and Halwara had reached the spot and at around 3 am body was recovered.”
This is the third incident involving the MiG-21 Bison aircraft this year. In March, an IAF pilot was killed in an accident that happened when the aircraft was taking off for a combat training mission at an airbase in central India. Group Captain A Gupta could not eject from the aircraft safely.
In January, another MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed in Rajasthan’s Suratgarh city. The pilot survived the accident.