Indian fighter jet pilot escapes death from fiery explosion as birds strike engine

Indian fighter jet pilot escapes death from fiery explosion as birds strike engine

Jul 4, 2019 News by Gary Searing

We normally wouldn’t post something like this except it is just so dramatic!

AN INDIAN Air Force pilot escaped death after flying into a flock of birds on takeoff during a training exercise.

The pilot was forced to drop his fuel pods resulting in a fiery explosion at the Ambala airbase. The birds had flown into one of the two IAF Jaguar’s engines which subsequently caught fire, AirLive reported. After jettisoning the additional fuel tanks, the pilot successfully landed the plane.

In the shocking video footage, the plane has a smooth takeoff before immediately colliding with a flock of birds. As the jaguar continues to climb, multiple fuel tanks and ordnance are dropped from the plane. Moments later a fiery mushroom cloud arose as the plane flew out of the ash. Air Force officials told Indian media outlet ANI: “The pilot jettisoned his fuel tanks and external stores, including some 10 kg practice bombs, to gain height and managed to land back safely.”

They added it was a prime example of the “highest standards of the IAF.” IAF pilots are trained to drop any under-wing cargo, such as bombs or fuel tanks, in causes of accidents or malfunctions. The incident comes just a month after one birdstrike caused $2million (£1.59million) worth of damage to the World’s Most Advanced Warplane The $120million (£95million) Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet has been grounded until repairs are completed.

The US military suffers up to 3,000 bird strikes a year resulting in huge damages, Popular Mechanics reported. But the Department of Defence takes the migration of birds very seriously and send fragments from collisions to the Smithsonian Institution for species identification. Armed with the knowledge of the species and their behaviour, the military can take measures to mitigate loss. The Department of Defence clear habitats and use propane-powered sonic cannons to scare birds away ahead of takeoff.