The IAF credited the Jaguar pilot for saving civilian lives as well as protecting a war-waging asset.
On Jun. 27, 2019 a Bharatiya Vayu Sena (BVS, Indian Air Force, IAF) Jaguar encountered a flock of birds almost immediately after taking off from Ambala AFS (Haryana). The single seat, twin-engined aircraft operated by 5 Squadron ‘Tuskers’ or 14 Squadron ‘Bulls’, was loaded with two external fuel tanks and Carrier Bomb Light Stores (CBLS). The Jaguar took off for a training mission when it hit the birds. The bird strike resulted in the failure of one of its engines.
The video in this post shows the moment the aircraft encounters the flock of birds, immediately followed by a flame from one of its engines.
As explained by Scramble Facebook News Magazine, because of the seriousness of the situation and the weight of the aircraft the pilot did not hesitate: he jettisoned the two fuel tanks as well as the CBLS pods, resulting in large explosions when these hit the ground. The IAF credited him for saving civilian lives as well as protecting a war-waging asset.
The pilot managed to land the aircraft safely back at its base. Ambala AFS is the home base of 7 Wing, with two squadrons flying the Jaguar IS and Jaguar IT. It is also the future home base of 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ which will receive the Dassault Rafale DH and Rafale EH. The first Rafales are expected in May 2020.