A MiG-29K fighter jet of the Indian Navy crashed near Goa on Sunday morning. The pilot ejected safely.
“Today morning at around 1030h a MiG-29K aircraft on a routine training sortie crashed off Goa. The pilot of the aircraft ejected safely and has been recovered,” a Navy spokesperson said in a statement. An enquiry to investigate the incident had been ordered, he added.
India had contracted 45 MiG-29K carrier based fighters from Russia in two batches, 16 fighters in 2004 along with the contract for acquiring aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and another 29 fighters in 2010. In fact, India was the first launch customer of the carrier variant of MiG-29 even before the Russian Navy.
The pilots – Captain M Sheokhand and Lieutenant Commander Deepak Yadav – had also managed to eject safely. According to a statement by the Navy, the plane, a trainer version of the fighter, was hit by a flock of birds and the collision led to a fire in the right engine and the left engine failing.
The MiG-29K fleet saw two more accidents, one in January 2018 and another in November last year. In both cases, the pilots ejected safely.
Earlier, in June, a mishap involving a MiG-29K jet led to Goa airport operations being suspended for 90 minutes.
The naval fighter jet’s external fuel tank was inadvertently jettisoned during take off and caused a fire on the runway. Fighter jets often carry fuel tanks that can be detached as per mission requirements.
The MiG-29Ks based in Goa currently fly off the deck of INS Vikramaditya and will in near future from the indigenous carrier Vikrant.
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