MiG-29 crashes in Himachal,pilot missing

Shimla: A MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed into a mountain during a night flying exercise near Lahaul- Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and the fate of the pilot is not known. The mishap occurred at 8.30 PM last night in Chokang village, 400 kms from here, Air Force officials said today.

IAF has sent a team to locate the wreckage and the missing pilot, an Air Force spokesperson said in Delhi. Two MiG-29 aircraft of western air command took off from Adampur in Jalandhar for night flying exercise in high altitude and during a turn, one of them crashed into a mountain.

DSP, Lahaul-Spiti, Khajana Ram said that they were informed about the crash at 11 PM last night and the rescue teams had reached the area by 3 AM. "As it it is a high altitude area, we are facing difficulty in locating the wreckage," he said.

The IAF said the second plane returned safely and the exercise has not been called off. This is the seventh air crash involving IAF`s fighter aircraft this year and the second this month. On October 7, a MiG-21 aircraft crashed near Uttarlai airport in Rajasthan`s Barmer district but the pilot ejected safely.