An Indian Air Force Jaguar fighter plane crashed in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh on late Monday morning. The pilot managed to eject safely.
The fighter plane had taken off from the Gorakhpur Air Force base.
“Today morning, a Jaguar aircraft while on a routine mission from Gorakhpur, crashed. Pilot ejected safely. A court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident,” said IAF in a statement.
In March 2018, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply to a question, informed the Lok Sabha that 31 aircraft of the IAF had been involved in accidents during the last four years. It was said that 10 accidents had taken place in 2014-15, six in 2015-16 and 10 in 2016-17, while five were reported in 2017-18. These accounted for almost two squadrons of aircraft.
As the IAF had the highest number of peacetime crashes in the world, quite some time ago, a committee chaired by Air Marshal La Fontaine had gone into various aspects and had come to the conclusion that amongst the main factors for crashes were pilot error at 42 per cent, bird hits at 7 per cent and maintenance and technical issues at 44 per cent. A very high rate of pilot error was blamed on the absence of an Advanced Jet Trainer. It was said that pilots, for want of an AJT, were trained on slower aircraft and got suddenly exposed to a Mach 2 situation, leading to accidents.