A MiG-21 fighter jet crashed in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, killing the pilot. The accident took place at 1:21 pm. The aircraft was on a routine sortie.
Visuals from the site of the accident showed the debris of the aircraft engulfed in flames, lying in what appears to be a field in Mehra Palli village in Kangra's Patta Jatiyan.
Apparently, the fighter jet might have developed some technical snag and crashed in Kangra district.
“The pilot sustained fatal injuries during the accident. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the exact cause of the accident,” said the IAF spokesperson.
The single-engine MiG-21 fighters, which were the first supersonic jets to be flown by IAF jets, may have performed a stellar role even since their induction began in 1963, being in the forefront of air operations during the 1965 and 1971 wars, but their high crash rate has seriously dented their track-record over the years.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressing "deep grief" over death of the pilot, said "Our heartfelt condolences to the family of brave pilot Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar, who we lost in the fateful crash.”
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also expressed grief over the death of the pilot.