Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 27
A MiG-29K fighter jet of the Navy crashed off Goa over the Arabian Sea on Thursday night.
Search is on for one of the two pilots who had ejected.
One of the pilots had been rescued, sources said on Friday morning. The search for the other pilot went on through the night and is continuing using helicopters and warships.
An inquiry to investigate the incident has been ordered.
This is the third mishap of MiG-29K aircraft in the last one year. On November 16 last year, a MiG-29K trainer aircraft crashed outside Verna village in South Goa district. Both the pilots had then ejected safely. On February 23 this year, a MiG 29K crashed after being hit by birds over Goa. Both pilots had ejected safely and even earned praise for steering the jet away from habitation before ejecting.
The twin engine Russian-made aircraft are home-based at the naval air station INS Hansa at Goa. A part of the fleet is also on deployment at INS Dega on the east coast at Visakhapatnam.
While on deployment the jets are based on the deck of the sea-going aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. These can land and take off from the deck of the warship.
The warship, a part of the MiG-29K, fleet had been part of the four-nation exercise, Malabar 2020, from November 17-20 on the west coast of India. The navies of the US, Japan and Australia participated in the exercise. The group of four MiG-29Ks even flew a joint sortie with the Boeing F/A 18 jets of the US Navy.
India imported 45 MiG-29Ks from Russia in 2011.