New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has lost nearly 10 aircraft in the first six months of 2019, the latest being an AN-32, whose wreckage was spotted Tuesday in a heavily- forested mountainous terrain in Arunachal Pradesh, eight days after it went missing after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat.
From Mirage 2000 to MiG-27, many of these aircraft had crashed in the month of February, officials said.
In January, a Jaguar aircraft of the IAF had crashed in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, with the pilot ejecting safely. It had crashed soon after taking off on a routine mission from the Gorakhpur Air Force Station.
District magistrate Anil Kumar Singh had then said, the incident took place around noon time when the pilot had sensed some problem in the plane and turned it towards a safe destination before jumping to safety.
A pilot was killed and two others ejected to safety February 19 when two aircraft of IAF’s aerobatic team Surya Kiran crashed near the Yelahanka airbase in Bangalore, a day before the opening of the Aero India show.
Earlier in February, a Mirage 2000 aircraft of the IAF had crashed at the HAL airport in Bangalore killing a pilot on the spot and leaving another critically injured, police had said.
In the same month, a MIG-27 fighter aircraft of IAF had crashed in Eta village in Pokaran tehsil of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district. “A MIG-27 aircraft airborne from Jaisalmer crashed during a routine mission today evening. Pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident,” defence spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh had said after the incident.
A MiG-21 Bison of the IAF, piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was downed during a dogfight between India and Pakistan sides February 27 after the Balakot airstrike. Also, on the same day, a Mi-17 helicopter had crashed in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least one person.
In March, the IAF lost two aircraft in separate crash incidents. A MiG-27 aircraft crashed late March near Jodhpur in Rajasthan but the pilot ejected safely. The jet had taken off from Utarlai airforce base and it experienced engine problems leading to the crash around 11:45 am in Sirohi district about 120 km south of Jodhpur, they said. Then a MiG-21 fighter aircraft had crashed in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district with the pilot ejecting safely.