An MiG 21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Bhaliana village in Muktasar District of Punjab, around 150 kms from here, on Thursday, killing the pilot Lt. Manu Akhotri on the spot.

The aircraft was on a routine training exercise and had taken off from Bhatinda Air force station this morning and apparently lost power while taking off but the pilot could not eject in time, an official added.

The crash is the seventh accident suffered by the IAF this year. The IAF had lost a Kiran MK-II trainer aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatic team in January, a Sukhoi SU-30MKI in April, an MiG-27 and an MiG-21 Bison in May, and an AN-32 transporitt and an MiG-21 trainer in June.