During recovery, there was a bird hit and fire on the right engine was observed.
A MiG-29K fighter aircraft crashed in South Goa’s Dabolim on Saturday soon after it took off for a training mission, Indian Navy said.
Both the pilots have managed to eject safely. The aircraft involved in the crash was a trainer version of the fighter jet, the Indian Navy added. Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal tweeted, “The MiG-29K trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Captain M Sheokhand and Lt Commander Deepak Yadav ejected safely.”
Sharing further details, Goa Airport sources said that the Navy aircraft crashed in South Goa at around 12 noon, shortly after the aircraft took off from the Dabolim International Airport.
MiG-29K trainer aircraft was flying from ashore in Goa. During recovery, there was a bird hit and fire on the right engine was observed. The aircraft crashed in an open and safe area. No casualties reported, according to Indian Navy.
Further details are awaited.
Two pilots bailed out when an Indian Navy fighter jet caught fire following a collision with a flock of birds. The dramatic incident, caught on camera by an onlooker, happened in Goa, western India. In the footage, the plane can be seen flying at high speed on a sunny day with just a few clouds in the sky. At some point, a trail of fire appears to come out from the back of the plane.
The pilots act quickly and escape to safety by using their parachutes. As the pair is seen coming down slowly, their jet crashes to the ground leaving a trail of smoke behind it. The footage then goes back to the pilots who are flying towards the ground in their parachutes.
The MiG 29K fighter jet was on a training mission when the incident took place, the reports. It caught fire shortly after taking off, officials say. The pilots, Captain M Sheokhand and Lieutenant Commander Deepak Yadav, landed in a residential area in Verna village and were recovered safely.
‘During a training mission, after take off from INS HANSA at Dabolim a Mig 29k trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Capt M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav ejected safely (sic),‘ the Navy tweeted initially. A navy spokesperson then said the crash was due to a flock of birds.
‘A MiG-29K twin-seater aircraft, on a routine training sortie, encountered a flock of birds after taking off from INS Hansa Air Base at Dabolim Goa at about noon on 16 Nov 2019,‘ a navy statement released shortly after the incident said. The pilots noticed the left engine had flamed out and the right one had caught fire. They decided to ditch the plane and bail out when they understood they would have been unable to save the aircraft.
‘Attempts to recover the aircraft were unsuccessful due to damage and low height. The pilot, showing presence of mind, pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely,‘ the navy said. ‘ There has been no loss of life or damage to property on the ground.‘The navy has launched an investigation into the crash.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a trail of smoke as well as two parachutes descending. The pilots were initially cared for by local residents after they landed and were reported safe and conscious.