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MiG-21 Crashes In Rajasthan, Pilot Killed

One of India’s oldest serving fighter jets, a MiG-21 Bison of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Rajasthan on Friday, killing the pilot, Wing Commander Harshit Sinha.

This is the fifth crash involving a Bison jet this year.

“This evening, around 8:30 pm, a MiG-21 aircraft of IAF met with a flying accident in the western sector during a training sortie…,” the IAF said in a statement.

Later, in another tweet, the IAF confirmed the pilot’s death.

“With deep sorrow, IAF conveys the sad demise of Wing Commander Harshit Sinha in the flying accident this evening and stands firmly with the family of the braveheart,” it said.

The crash has once again turned the spotlight on India’s longest-serving fighter plane, its safety record and the IAF’s plans to replace the ageing jets with newer ones in the coming years.

The Bison is the latest variant of Mig-21 in IAF service. IAF operates four squadrons of MiG-21 Bison aircraft — a squadron has 16 to 18 fighter jets.

The last of these upgraded MiG-21s are set to be phased out in three to four years.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlotin a tweet said, “Saddened to know Wing Commander Harshit Sinha lost his life, when a MiG-21 aircraft met with a flying accident in the western sector during a training sortie. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. We share their grief and pray they find strength.”

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