Last night, a military pilot was killed after an Indian Air Force MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed during a routine training mission in the northern state of Punjab, the Indian Air Force announced on Friday.
An Indian Air Force official said that the accident took place at around 2 a.m., local time, near the Punjab's western sector. The pilot, Sqn. Ldr. Abhinav Chaoudhary, who reportedly ejected, nonetheless sustained fatal injuries.
There was an aircraft accident last night involving a Bison aircraft of IAF in the western sector. The pilot, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary, sustained fatal injuries. IAF condoles the tragic loss and stands firmly with the bereaved family.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 21, 2021
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the Indian Air Force said.
MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed at village Langeana in Baghapurana sub-division of Moga, Punjab. Third accidents involving MiG-21 this year. pic.twitter.com/cPe3FJfSOZ— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) May 21, 2021
This year, three single engine MiG-21s of the Indian Air Force crashed in different sectors.
The Indian Air Force received its first MiG-21 in 1963, and progressively inducted 874 variants of the Soviet-built supersonic fighters to bolster its combat potential.
The Indian Defence Ministry plans to phase out the remaining four squadrons of the MiG-21 Bison aircraft - a squadron has 16 to 18 fighter jets - in the next three to four years.