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An Indian Air Force pilot was killed after a MiG-21 fighter jet crashed in Punjab. The MiG-21 Bison took off from Suratgarh in Rajasthan Air Force Station and crashed in Moga District.

MiG-21 aircraft crashes in Punjab, pilot died

The pilot has been identified as Squadron Leader Abhinav Chaudhari. The incident took place around 1am on Thursday (May 21), when the aircraft was on routine training sortie and the accident happened.

No other loss of life reported, no structural damage in the village but the Air Force of-course has condoled the tragic loss instead a court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the incident.  

Late Sqn Ldr Abhinav Chaudhari lost his life due to fatal injuries in the crash. The sqn Ldr was married just a year ago. He was from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

The jet had taken off from Suratgarh in Rajasthan for Jagraon in Ludhiana for a night training sortie.The pilot was returning to Suratgarh when it crashed in Moga on the way back.

This is the third accident involving the MiG-21 this year.

MiG-21 Crash, 2021

March 17, 2021

Group Caption Ashish Gupta died in the MiG-21 Bison fighter crash. He was a seasoned fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force.

January 2021

A MiG-21 aircraft crashed near Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The pilot of the aircraft had ejected safely. According to the reports, the crash occurred due to technical reasons.

ANI News

MiG 21s are often called the ‘flying coffin’ due to their poor safety record.

During the period of 2003 to 2013, 38 aircrafts were crashed. Since 2021, about 20 have been involved in accidents.

The aircraft was in the news after a MiG-21 Bison went to head with Pakistan Air Force Jets In the post Balakot Air skirnish over LoC. There is a growing chorus for their phasing out due to the fatal crashes over the years.

Today, the Indian Air Force maintains just four squadrons of Mig-21, their Phasing out is supposed to begin by 2022. All the four squadrons of the MiG-21 Bisons are likely to be phased out in the next 5-6 years.

The Soviet-origin MiG-21 Bison is an upgraded version of the MiG-21 aircraft, that the IAF began inducting in the 1960s. The indigenously designed and manufactured Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will replace the aging fleet of the MiG-21 and with brand new Rafale jets trickling in, India’s air power eyes supremacy.

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