- Jaguar fighter jet crashes in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar
- Pilot was able to eject safely
- Court of Inquiry ordered to investigate fighter jet crash
A Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed today in Kushinagar, about 322 kilometre from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. The pilot, Wing Commander Rohit Katoch managed to eject safely from the plane.
The Jaguar, on a routine mission, had taken off from Gorakhpur air base. A court of inquiry has been ordered to find out the reason for the crash.
A senior police officer in Kushinagar told news agency ANI that the plane crashed near a densely populated area. "The pilot landed the plane at a distance from that place using his tactical expertise. He saved the life of others as well as his own," said the officer, RN Mishra.
Initial investigations indicate that the deep penetration strike fighter aircraft, had developed some technical problems soon after it took off from Gorakhpur.
The plane crashed when the pilot was trying to return to Gorakhpur air base, said sources.
Wing Commander Katoch is an ace pilot of the Jaguar fighter team and is the Flight Commander of the 27 Squadron of Jaguars based out of Gorakhpur. The Flight Commander of a squadron is the second-in-Command or the second senior-most officer in the unit.
The IAF has a fleet of around 100 Jaguar fighter planes, which were imported from Europe in the late 1970s. The force has plans of further upgrading the fighter planes, which have a long range strike capability.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)