IAF MiG-27 crashes in Rajasthan, pilot safe (Lead)

November 10th, 2010 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-27 fighter crashed in Rajasthan Wednesday but the pilot ejected safely and there was no damage reported to life or property on the ground, an official said.

An IAF spokesperson said Flight Lieutenant A. Patni was “on a routine training mission” when the aircraft crashed 60 km south of Jodhpur.

Patni “ejected safely and no damage to civilian life or property was reported on the ground”, the spokesperson said.

The crash took place 15 minutes after the take-off at two kilometre height about 60 km south of Jodhpur, according to the official.

The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the accident - the fourth crash of a plane of this type in India this year.

Three MiG-27 aircraft crashed in West Bengal in February, July and September this year.

The first crash occurred near the Hashimara military base, killing the pilot and causing all MiG-27 flights to be suspended for a short period of time.

Another such plane crashed into a village in the region in July during a routine training flight, killing a civilian.

The third crash took place near the Kalaikunda air base in the region that didn’t cause any casualty or destruction on the ground.

India has about 150 of the Soviet era MiG-27 planes, known as the Bahadur in the IAF.

An upgrade programme is expected to keep the MiG-27 operational for another 10 years.

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