A MiG-21 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in a village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, killing an Indian Air Force pilot.

The Indian Air Force identified the pilot as Squadron Leader Meet Kumar, who was posted at the Pathankot Air Base. The aircraft was on a routine sortie.

The fighter jet crashed in Mehra Palli village under the Jawali police station around 1.30 pm, Kangra Superintendent of Police (SP) Santosh Patial said.

Confirming that the pilot is dead, the SP said Kumar’s body was yet to be recovered.

Kangra: People gather at the site where a MiG-21 aircraft crashed in Patta Jattian village of Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district, on July 18, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
The site where a MiG-21 aircraft crashed in Patta Jattian village of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, on July 18, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

 

The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry to establish the cause of the accident.

Air Force officers said the MiG-21 had taken off from the Pathankot IAF station. Two IAF helicopters reached the crash site with Air Force personnel who are conducting preliminary investigations.

The accident spot is around 70 km from district headquarter Dharamsala.

According to the villagers who witnessed the crash, the plane caught fire mid-air after which it fell to the ground. Here is a video that was shot moments after the crash.

 

On June 5, an IAF Jaguar fighter jet had crashed in Kutch in Gujarat soon after takeoff, killing the pilot.

On May 27, an IAF pilot was killed when his MiG-21 fighter crashed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district.