IAF releases names of pilots killed in Thursday night’s MiG-21 crash

The two pilots were killed when their twin-seater MiG-21 aircraft crashed during a training sortie near Barmer, Rajasthan

July 29, 2022 01:00 pm | Updated July 30, 2022 09:26 am IST - New Delhi:

The IAF fighter aircraft that crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

The IAF fighter aircraft that crashed in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, on Thursday, July 28, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The two Indian Air Force pilots killed in Thursday night’s crash of a MiG-21 trainer aircraft in Rajasthan are Wing Commander M. Rana and Flight Lieutenant Advitiya Bal.

Wing Commander Rana hailed from Himachal Pradesh and Flight Lieutenant Bal from Jammu, an IAF official said while releasing the names to the media on Friday.

The two pilots were killed when their twin-seater MiG-21 aircraft crashed during a training sortie near Barmer in the desert State. The IAF said the aircraft was on a sortie from the Utarlai air base and the accident occurred around 9.10 p.m.

Air headquarters has already ordered a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident.

MiG-21s were the mainstay of the IAF for a long time. However, the aircraft has had a very poor safety record of late.

In March, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhat said in the Rajya Sabha that 42 defence personnel were killed in accidents involving aircraft and helicopters of the three services in the last five years.

The total number of air accidents in the last five years was 45, out of which 29 involved IAF’s platforms.

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