Pilot killed as IAF MiG-21 aircraft crashes in Punjab's Moga; third such accident this year

An Indian Air Force pilot died in a MiG-21 Bison aircraft crash near Punjab’s Moga on Friday.

The accident occurred around 1 am during a routine training sortie and a court of inquiry has been ordered to find the cause, IAF said.

The aircraft crashed in Moga’s Langiana Khurd village. "Pilot was MCC squadron leader Abhinav Choudhary. His body was found two kilometres away from the crash spot after a search of four hours. The parachute was found open and SOS was also sent from his device but he had died by then,” Moga SP (HQ) Gurdeep Singh was quoted as saying by LiveMint.

IAF condoled Choudhary’s death and said it stands with the bereaved family.

This is the third MiG-21 aircraft crash this year. In March, a Group Captain of the IAF was killed in an accident during take-off at an airbase in Gwalior. Another aircraft crashed near Rajasthan’s Suratgarh in January, but the pilot ejected safely.

MiG-21 aircraft is called a “flying coffin” owing to its poor safety record. Over 20 such aircraft have been involved in accidents since 2010, according to News18.