Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes after bird strike

Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes after bird strike

By Dario Leone
Mar 8 2019
Share this article

According to Indian Air Force the pilot ejected safely.

An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 crashed in in Rajasthan’s Bikaner sector today after a bird strike.

According to the IAF the pilot of the fighter jet ejected safely. The service added that initial inputs suggest that the MiG-21 crash was caused by a bird strike.

Bikaner’s superintendent of police, Pradeep Mohan Sharma, told news agency PTI that the MiG-21 jet crashed in Shobhasar ki Dhani, 12 km outside of Bikaner city.

The IAF said in a statement that the MiG-21 had taken off from the Indian Air Force’s Nal airbase in Rajasthan and that it was on a routine mission. “Today afternoon a MiG-21 aircraft on a routine mission crashed after getting airborne from Nal near Bikaner. Initial inputs indicate the likely cause as bird hit after takeoff. Pilot of the aircraft ejected safely. A CoI [Court of Inquiry] will investigate the cause of the accident.”

The MiG-21 crash in Rajasthan comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. Air forces of both the countries have been involved in bombing missions in respective territories.

Indian and Pakistani jets even got into a dogfight over Jammu and Kashmir on February 27 leading to the brief capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

As we have explained more than 100 MiG-21s are known to be operational with the IAF in the role of interceptor aircraft. However, the plane has been plagued by safety problems: in fact at least 14 MiG-21s have crashed between 2010 and 2013. Nevertheless their phase-out date has been postponed several times. Initially set for 2014-2017, it was later postponed to 2019. Currently phase-out is scheduled for 2021-2022.

Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes after bird strike
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
Share this article


Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices