The MiG-29K trainer aircraft had reportedly crashed into the Arabian Sea on Thursday after taking off from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. One of the two pilots was rescued successfully. However, the second pilot, Commander Nishant Singh, still hasn’t been found.
Indian Navy has been able to trace turbocharger, fuel tank and some other parts of the MiG-29K fighter aircraft that had crashed on but one of the two pilots remains missing.
"Some debris of the aircraft including landing gear, turbo charger, fuel tank engine and wing engine cowling have been located," Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
After this incident, the navy has launch an extensive search and rescue operation to locate the missing pilot. While the cause of the crash is still not known, nine warships and 14 aircraft are engaged in the search efforts of finding the second pilot. According to the Navy’s statement, Indian Navy's Fast Interceptor Craft are also deployed to search waters along the coast. Further, the Marine/Coastal police are on the lookout and nearby fishing villages have been sensitised.
Previous MiG-29K Crashes
This crash was one of the three MiG-29K aircraft crashes in the last one year. A MiG-29K twin-seat fighter aircraft had crashed in South Goa district on November 16 last year and both the pilots had ejected safely. Another MIG-29K crashed into the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast on February 23 this year after taking off from INS Hansa, a prominent naval air station at Vasco in Goa. The pilot of the aircraft had managed to eject safely.The MiG-29K is an all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft developed by Russian aerospace company Mikoyan (MiG). The Indian Navy had procured a fleet of 45 MiG-29Ks from Russia at a cost of around USD 2 billion to operate from INS Vikramaditya. INS Vikramaditya was part of the second phase of the Malabar exercise involving navies of India, the US, Australia and Japan.