New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Of all the aircraft crashes suffered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) since 2012, half involved MiG fighters, data compiled by the defence ministry shows.
Since April 2012, there have been 25 accidents — of which 13 involved a MiG fighter aircraft, which has often been described as a “flying coffin”.
Two of those accidents involved MiG-29 aircrafts that are relatively new and have a long life ahead for them.
MiG-21s and MiG-27s are, on the other hand, moving towards retirement with the IAF looking at decommissioning a few squadrons this year itself.
The MiG-21s are scheduled to retire over the period 2017 to 2020. The non-upgraded versions of MiG-27s are scheduled to retire this year and others by the next year.
According to the data that the defence ministry provided to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence, there were 65 accidents involving IAF aircrafts between April 2007 and March 2012.
Of these, 31 involved a MiG fighter; three of them were MiG-29s.
The following are some of the recent accidents involving MiG fighter aircraft.
*June 13, 2016: A MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the IAF crashed near Jodhpur airbase in Rajasthan. The plane crashed in a residential area near the airbase, damaging two houses, but pilot ejected safely.
*August 24, 2015: A MiG-21 fighter aircraft crashed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district. The pilot safely ejected.
*May 8, 2015: A MiG 27 crashed in Alipurdwar district of West Bengal. The pilot ejected safely out of the aircraft.
*January 31, 2015: A MiG-21 crashed near Bed village in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. The pilot managed to eject safely.
*January 27, 2015: A MiG-27 fighter crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district. While the pilot ejected safely, the crash left a motorcyclist injured.
*May 27, 2014: A MiG-21 fighter crashed in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing pilot Squadron Leader Raghuvanshi, 32.
*July 15, 2013: A MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft crashed while landing at Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, killing the pilot.