A Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft crashed in Mau on Thursday killing its pilot and a girl working in an agricultural field, the second IAF plane to meet with an accident this week.
The single-seater aircraft, which had taken off from Gorakhpur airbase at 12:15 PM, crashed in the field in Dilahi Firozpur village, about 50 kms from the district headquarters, DIG Azamgarh L Ravi Kumar said.
“Pilot of the aircraft Flight Lieutenant S Pandey died in the crash. A girl who was hit by a splinter on ground from the crashed aircraft also succumbed to injuries,” an IAF spokesperson said.The twin-engine aircraft burst into flames after hitting the ground.While 18-year-old Ruma was killed, two other women working in the field were injured, police said.”A court of inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Air Force. The cause of the crash is not yet known,” the airforce spokesperson said.
An IAF team rushed to the crash site and took custody of the pilot’s body.The IAF operates over 100 Jaguars in six squadrons which are based at Gorakhpur, Ambala and Jamnagar.
The aircraft were inducted by the airforce from late 1970s till mid-80s.The last Jaguar crash had taken place on October 26, 2007 near Jamnagar in which the pilot had ejected safely.
After carrying out upgrades on the aircraft in the last decade, the IAF is also planning to equip the planes with more powerful engines.On Tuesday, a MiG-21 fighter aircraft crashed while landing at Naal airfield in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district, killing the pilot.