Mig-21 BISON Crashes Near Punjab’s Moga, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Chaudhary Died; 3rd Accident in 2021 Involving Mig-21

An Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Squadron Leader Abhinav Chaudhary was killed in an Mig-21 BISON aircraft crash on Thursday night. The accident took place Punjab’s Moga district. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) has been ordered to investigate the crash. The aircraft was on a routine training sortie when the accident occurred.

The IAF expressed condolences over the demise of Sqn Ldr Chaudhry. The force in a tweet, said, “There was an aircraft accident last night involving a Bison aircraft of IAF in the western sector. The pilot, Sqn Ldr Abhinav Choudhary, sustained fatal injuries. IAF condoles the tragic loss and stands firmly with the bereaved family.”

Tweet by IAF:

“The pilot’s parachute was found open and an SOS was also sent from his device to the IAF… He tried to land safely using the parachute but apparently broke his neck and spinal cord,” reported the Indian Express quoting Moga (HQ) SP Gurdeep Singh as saying. The aircradt reportedly took of from Suratgarh in Rajasthan. While returning, it crased near Moga. From Rafale Jets to Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, Here Are Aircraft That Bolster IAF’s Capabilities.

The IAF officer did his schooling from Meerut and Dehradun. Sqn Ldr Chaudhary had been posted at the Pathankot Air Force Base since 2014. He was married in December 2019. His wife Sonika had recently returned from France after pursuing a course.

Squadron Leader Abhinav Chaudhary:

Notably, It is the third crash involving Mig-21 BISON.  In March, a Group Captain-rank IAF pilot was killed in an accident involving a MiG-21 BISON. The aircraft crashed while taking off at Gwalior.  He was on a Combat training mission. A court of inquiry was ordered into the accident. In January this year also, a mig-21 BOSON aircraft crashed near Suratgarh. The pilot of the eject safely that time.

Mig-21 BISON is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft of Russian origin. It is an upgraded variant of Mig 21. It has a max speed of 2230 km per hour. Currently, there are 108 Mig-21 BISONs in service in the IAF. Over half of the 840 aircraft built between 1966 and 1984 were lost to crashes and since 2010 close to 20 Mig-21s crashed.  It is often called the “flying coffins”.

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Published by Sumit Sharma

Journalist and passionate for Indian Defence forces.

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