Missing MiG-29 pilot found dead

New Delhi: IAF search teams have found the remains of the pilot of the ill-fated MiG-29 fighter aircraft that crashed last month in Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh. The remains of Squadron Leader Dharmendra Singh Tomar were found near Kherot village in the Chokhang hills at an altitude of 15,000-17,000 feet, Western Air Command spokesman Wing Commander S K Mehta told PTI here.

The last village on this route is Kherot after which the area is identified as Chokhang Hills, Mehta said. The evidences have been sent for forensic examination and the family members of Tomar, who were camping at Adampur air base, have been informed about the development, he said.

IAF`s Search and Rescue team had reached the accident site nine days after the MiG-29, which was on a routine training mission, crashed on the night of October 18. The search and rescue mission was hampered due to bad weather and fresh snow fall in the area. Identification of the site where the plane had crashed and collection of the debris has been a very difficult task, he said.

Meanwhile, the inquiry which was ordered to ascertain the cause of the crash is yet to submit its findings. The MiG-29 was on a night mission after taking off from Adampur for Jalandhar in Punjab. In order to locate the wreckage, IAF had launched a massive search operation and had flown different types of aircraft including Sukhoi-30 MKI, AN-32 transport plane and helicopters over the area. Satellite imagery was also used to gain information of the aircraft as fresh snow fall and bad weather had slowed down the mission.