New Delhi: An IAF MiG-21 Bison aircraft crashed during heavy rain in a field in Punjab’s Moga district, killing its pilot Squadron Leader Abhinav Choudhary. The aircraft was on a training sortie from Suratgarh in Rajasthan when it crashed in Langeana village on Thursday night. He was 29-year-old and was married in 2019. The Indian Air Force has ordered a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident and said it condoles the tragic loss of its officer. The pilot’s body was found about two kilometres from the crash site, barely 200 metres from a couple of big ‘havelis’.

“Had the aircraft crashed over these houses, it could have caused heavy casualties,” Singh told PTI over the phone. He said the pilot appeared to have deployed a parachute in a bid to land safely. “It seems he broke his neck upon impact on the ground,” he added.

Zee News Anchor Sachin Arora on Friday (May 21) narrated in this segment why MiG-21 are called ‘Flying Coffins’ and the reason India still uses them. 

According to the information we got, the aircraft had taken off from Suratgarh in Rajasthan for Jagraon near Ludhiana and was on the way back after a training sortie when it crashed. It is speculated that the accident occurred due to fire in the engine of the aircraft. During this incident, Squadron leader Choudhary tried to eject himself from the plane, however, he could not open his parachute and the aircraft fell on the ground. The mortal remains of Chaudhary were found two kilometers away from the wreckage of the plane.

Notably, this is not the first such accident in this year. Earlier on March 18, a MiG-21 Bison aircraft had also crashed in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, in which Bharti Air Force Group Captain Ashish Gupta lost his life. In these two MiG plane crash, Indian lost two of his heroes.

Here, in this segment, we will do a DNA analysis of the MiG series fighter jets and why these fighter planes are also called ‘Flying Coffins’ of our country. 
In 1960, the Chevrolet company a car ‘Impala’ in India in 1960s. The four-wheeler created a lot of buzz in the country and saw many customers. However, with time, the country saw several new models and brands of four-wheelers being launched with latest features and upgradation. Now imagine if a person is asked today to drive a car that was purchased almost 50-60 years ago, equipped with old-age features. It is understandable that the car cannot be run today; and this applies to MiG series fighters too. 

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had raised the issue in 2019 where he stated that the Indian Air Force is flying a 44-year-old MiG-21 aircraft, while no one even drives a car for that long. “And yesterday, in the accident in which the country lost one of its brave soldiers, they were flying this aircraft,” he said. 

MiG series fighter aircraft have been the backbone of the Indian Air Force for the last 50 years. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received more than 850 MiG fighter aircraft since 1960. Not only this, these aircraft played a decisive role for the country in 1965 India-Pakistan war, in 1971 war, and then in the 1999 Kargil war.

The lifespan of these aircraft may have exceeded 50 years, but even today an upgraded MiG-21 aircraft can hit any modern aircraft in the sky. This was proven in the year 2019 when Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman of the Indian Air Force shot down Pakistan’s fifth-generation modern aircraft F-16 with a MiG-21 Bison aircraft.

In simple words, the fighting ability of these aircraft of MiG series is still intact and it is unmatchable, however, if experts are to be believed, the record of these aircraft is not very good in terms of safety. And hence, planes of this series have often been termed as ‘Flying Coffins’ of our country.
 





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