Mumbai: A Mig-29K fighter jet of the Indian Navy crashed at Dabolim in Goa. The mishap occurred during a training mission, while the jet was taking off from INS Hansa. Both pilots ejected themselves in time and are said to be safe by officials.
The accident took place around noon when the twin-seat fighter jet took off from the INS base for a training sortie. The jet went into a tizzy after a flock of birds hit it and set its engines on fire. As per the pilot, the left engine had flamed out when the right one also caught fire and at that point, they decided to evict themselves.
The two surviving pilots, identified as Captain M Sheokhand and Lt Commander Deepak Yadav, were subsequently rescued without major injuries. The duo was administered first-aid and later shifted to a hospital in the nearby Vasco city.
A defence release said, “At about noon, a Mig-29K twin-seat aircraft, on a routine training sortie, encountered a flock of birds after takeoff from the INS Hansa airbase at Dabolim in Goa. The pilot observed that the left engine had flamed out and the right engine had caught fire. Attempts to recover the aircraft were unsuccessful due to damage and low height.”
It further added, “The pilot, showing presence of mind, pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely. An enquiry has been instituted by the Navy. Both the pilots are safe. There has been no loss of life or damage to property on ground.”
Defence spokesperson Mehul Karnik, “The two pilots pointed the fighter jet away from populated areas and hence, there was no loss of life or damage on the ground. An enquiry has been constituted by the Navy to ascertain the details of the accident.”
The jet crashed in an unpopulated area of Dabolim, averting a disaster. A villager said that the aircraft crashed on a rocky plateau on the outskirts of Verna, 15 km from Panaji. The wreckage of the aircraft lay strewn over a 1km area, he said.
The defence officials said that the wreckage of the Mig-29K was tracked down and its parts were collected for tests and assessments. The report will be part of the enquiry, being conducted by the Navy. The initial probe has revealed that since the jet had just taken off and the altitude was low, it could not be recovered and attempts could not be made for making crash landing.