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Posted at: Jan 4, 2018, 1:46 AM; last updated: Jan 4, 2018, 1:46 AM (IST)

MiG-29K overshoots runway, catches fire

MiG-29K overshoots runway, catches fire

Panaji, January 3

A MiG-29K fighter aircraft on a training sortie overshot the runway before catching fire at the INS Hansa naval base today. The pilot disembarked safely. This is the first major mishap involving the recently inducted naval version of MiG-29K, a top naval officer said. A Board of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of accident.

A Defence Ministry statement said the incident occurred when the fighter jet’s trainee pilot aborted takeoff and during deceleration, the aircraft veered off the end of runway and caught fire.

“The pilot is safe. There was some malfunction in the aircraft during takeoff. We will have to investigate,” said Real Admiral Punit K Bahl, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area (FOGA).

Due to the malfunction, the aircraft could not take off and veered to the left after overshooting the runway at the other end. “The pilot descended from the canopy. There was a small fire, which is now under control,” Rear Admiral Bahl said. “This is a first major incident involving MiG-29K so far,” he said.

The incident happened around noon at the northern end of the runway at INS Hansa base, which is also home to Goa’s in Dabolim International Airport where civilian flights land. “It is premature to say whether it was human or mechanical error. We will have to investigate, which will take some time,” said Rear Admiral Bahl.

The incident happened 10 minutes before a civilian aircraft was scheduled to land, said Goa airport director BCH Negi. Operations at the airport were suspended after 12.30 pm but resumed around 1.40 pm, he said.

Russian-made MiG-29K were inducted into the Navy on May 11, 2016 after the decommissioning of Sea Harriers. The aircraft are currently integrated on board aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and perform the role of strike fighter and air defence for the Navy. — Agencies

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