IAF Jaguar pilot jettisons two fuel tanks, practice bombs after bird hit; lands safely at Ambala air base

An Indian Air Force Jaguar pilot had to jettison two fuel tanks of his aircraft and some practice bombs after one of engines failed after a bird hit, reports quoted IAF sources as saying.

According to ANI, IAF sources informed that the pilot managed to land back safely at the Ambala air base in Haryana.

Sources confirmed that small practice bombs jettisoned by the pilot were also recovered. As the aircraft has high fuel consumption, it carries additional auxiliary fuel tanks to have access to additional fuel supply for longer runs. These tanks are often made jettisonable in an emergency situation. Although the pilot managed to land safely and a mishap was avoided, the incident brought into focus that an aging IAF fleet has become more accident prone over the years.

 IAF Jaguar pilot jettisons two fuel tanks, practice bombs after bird hit; lands safely at Ambala air base

One of the practice bombs jettisoned from the IAF’s Jaguar fighter jet, which crashed at Ambala air base in Haryana. Manoj Thakur/ 101Reporters

The IAF has lost nearly 10 aircraft this year, the latest being the AN-32, whose fall in the mountainous terrain of Arunachal Pradesh also cost 13 lives. The wreckage from the aircraft was spotted last month in a heavily- forested hilly region in Arunachal Pradesh.

The IAF also lost 27 aircraft, including 15 fighter jets and helicopters, in crashes since 2016, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said on Wednesday.

In the 2016-17 fiscal, six IAF fighter jets, two helicopters, one transport aircraft, and one trainer crashed. In 2017-18, the air force lost two fighter jets and one trainer aircraft in crashes.

The number rose sharply in 2018-19 with the IAF losing about seven fighter jets, two helicopters, and two trainers. This included the crash of the MiG-21 fighter jet which was being piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during a dogfight with Pakistan Air Force planes on 27 February.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 27, 2019 11:45:02 IST