An MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in a tea garden near New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal on Friday but the pilot managed to eject safely.

“The aircraft was on a routine training sortie from the Hashimara airbase and crashed at around 1310 hours, nearly 15 kilometres from its take off base near near New Jalpaiguri,” IAF officials said.

The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gautam managed to bailout safely before the aircraft crashed, they said.

The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry to investigate the causes behind the crash, they said.

This was the ninth accident involving an IAF aircraft this year.