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Jaguar crashes, pilot killed

JAISALMER, FEB. 26. In the second accident involving a fighter plane near Pokhran this month, a Jaguar fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force today crashed in the field firing range, killing the pilot.

The aircraft, which took off from Jaisalmer air station today on a regular sortie exercise for next month's air show, `Vaayu Shakti 2004', crashed at around 9.30 a.m. in Asia's biggest field firing range, about 45 km from here, killing the pilot, Wing Commander Ravi Khanna, police said.

There was no civilian casualty or damage to property on the ground in the crash, they said.

An IAF spokesman said that a team of experts from Delhi would visit the crash site tomorrowand an inquiry has been ordered.

Sources said the aircraft crashed due to technical failure as it approached the target site. According to eye-witnesses, the pilot was seen trying to parachute out but it failed to open resulting in his death.

A Mig 23 fighter plane had crashed in the same area on February seven killing its pilot.

PTI