A MiG-21 fighter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed during a routine night sortie in Rajasthan Monday but the pilot ejected safely, police said here Tuesday.
"The aircraft, which was on a regular sortie, took off at around 9 p.m. from the Nal airbase in Bikaner and crashed at 9.30 p.m. near Kanasar, about 360 km from the state capital Jaipur," a police official told IANS on phone.
The pilot, Flying Officer Shashank Mitra, baled out safely, he said.
The officer said the pilot baled out before the jet crashed into sand dunes. There was no casualty or damage on the ground, the official said.
A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the crash. Preliminary reports have suggested the jet crashed because of engine failure.
This was the second MiG-21 crash this year and the 10th IAF fighter to go down so far. Three French-built Mirage 2000 aircraft and four Jaguar jets have also met with accidents this year.