NEW DELHI: A Jaguar fighter plane belonging to the IAF crashed on Friday near Bhuj in Gujarat, but the pilot managed to bale out safely.
A technical snag in the aircraft is said to have caused the crash, according to initial information reaching here from Bhuj. The crash occurred around 30 km from the Bhuj Airbase at 12.06 pm, 26 minutes after it took off on a flying sortie, IAF spokesperson Group Capitain Gerard Galway said here. “There is no reported damage on the ground. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the cause of the accident,” he said.
This is the second crash involving a Jaguar plane during this calendar year following the one near Bikaner in Rajasthan on January 22. On that occasion too, two combat pilots on board were lucky enough to eject out safely from the troubled plane. This calendar year, there have been five air crashes involving IAF aircraft till date.
Apart from the two Jaguar crashes, the IAF had also reported a C-130J special operations cargo plane crash on March 28 near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, in which five crew members were killed.
A MiG-21 Bison crash near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on May 27 had claimed the pilot’s life, while seven IAF personnel were killed when a Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter met with an accident near Lucknow on July 25.