MiG-21 fighter crashes in northwest India, pilot dead

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A MiG-21 Bison fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed Monday while landing at Uttarlai airbase in Barmer district of Rajasthan state, killing the pilot.

The aircraft had taken off from the airbase for a routine training sortie and crashed while landing at the runway, PTI reported.

According to the report, there was no report on loss of civilian life or damage to property.

Last month also, a MiG-21 plane from the same airbase had crashed but the pilots had managed to eject safely. The vintage MiG-21s have been in service for over 40 years now and they are expected to continue flying till 2018-19 in view of the delays in the induction of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft.

The IAF had inducted over 900 MiG-21s in its fleet over a period of 40 years, half of which were lost in different crashes.

This year, this is the sixth crash involving an IAF aircraft and fifth of a fighter plane.

The phase out of the MiG-21 will begin in 2017 as confirmed by Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne. It is expected to be replaced by the Light Combat Aircraft (LAC) Tejas.