IAF's Jaguar Plane Crashes Near Bhuj, Pilot Safe

A Jaguar combat aircraft of Indian Air Force today crashed near Bibber village in this district while on a routine sortie from Bhuj air base but the pilot ejected safely.

"A Jaguar fighter jet which had taken off from Bhuj air base for a routine sortie crashed near Bibber village, which is 30 kms from the base," an IAF official said.

"The pilot ejected safely and is not hurt in the mishap," he said.

Superintendent of Police, Kutch West, D N Patel said, "We have learnt that a fighter jet crashed near Bibber village of Nakhatrana taluka of Kutch. However, no casualty is reported.

"The pilot is safe," he said.

In 2013, two MIG-29 fighter planes had crashed in June and July near Gujarat's Jamnagar air base.

Twenty IAF fighter aircraft have met with accidents in the last three years, with human error and technical defects being the main reasons.

These planes are eight MiG-21s (different versions), four Jaguars, three MiG-29s, two Sukhoi SU-30MKIs, two Mirage 2000s and one MiG 27 ML.

The IAF said the crash took place at about 1206 hours 30 Kms north of Bhuj.

"The pilot, who was airborne from Bhuj at 1140 hours, was on a flying training mission and has ejected safely," an IAF statement said.

The plane belonged to the 16 Squadron of the IAF based at Bhuj and a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

The aircraft was not part of the fleet of Jaguar deep penetration strike fighter jets upgraded at the HAL.

The IAF is planning to upgrade and reengine all the Jaguars and keep them in service for another 15-20 years till 2030-2035.

The aircraft were inducted in the IAF in early 1980s and their squadrons are based at Jamnagar, Bhuj, Ambala and Gorakhpur.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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