INS Hansa (Goa): An Indian Navy combat jet today crashed following its engines going up in flames after a bird hit soon after take-off from the air base here. The two pilots ejected to safety after directing the aircraft away from populated areas of Goa.
The accident occurred around noon, when the Russian-origin MiG-29KUB, a twin-seater variant, was on a routine training sortie, an Indian Navy statement said in New Delhi.
The MiG-29KUB jet encountered a flock of birds after take off from the naval air base at Dabolim. The pilots observed that the left engine had flamed out and the right engine had caught fire.
“Attempts to recover the aircraft following the standard operating procedures were unsuccessful due to nature of emergency. The pilot, showing huge presence of mind, pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely,” the statement said.
An inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident has been instituted by the navy. The pilots — Captain M. Sheokhand and Lieutenant Commander Deepak Yadav — are safe and have been recovered. There has been no loss of life or damage to property on ground.
In January 2018, another MiG-29K had caught fire after veering off the runway in the same air base while attempting a take off. The trainee pilot of that aircraft managed to eject to safety.
The Indian Navy had inducted the MiG-29K/KUB into service in 2016. The aircraft is integrated on board the INS Vikramaditya, the lone aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, bought from Russian for a $2.34 billion price in 2010.
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