IAF’s Tejas aircraft crashes in Jaisalmer; pilot ejects safely

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On Tuesday, March 12, 2024, an Indian Air Force (IAF) Tejas aircraft crashed near Jaisalmer during an operational training sortie. Fortunately, the pilot ejected safely before the crash, averting any casualties.

The IAF made a statement about the safety of the pilot and the mishap of the aircraft. It said, “One Tejas aircraft of the Indian Air Force met with an accident at Jaisalmer today during an operational training sortie. The pilot ejected safely. A court of inquiry has been constituted to find out the cause of the accident.”

The Tejas, a domestically built supersonic aircraft, is a product of the Government of India’s initiative launched in 1984. Spread out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Light Combat Aircraft (LAC) programme led to the establishment of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to oversee its development.  Named ‘Tejas,’ meaning ‘radiance’ in Sanskrit, by the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in 2003, it marks a significant milestone in indigenous aviation.

Notably, it is HAL’s second supersonic fighter jet after the HAL HF-24 Marut. This incident was followed by a recent mishap involving a Hawk trainer aircraft in West Bengal. During a route training sortie, the aircraft crashed near the Kalaikunda Air Force Station. No loss of life or civilian property damage was reported. Both the pilots ejected safely, highlighting the importance of pilot safety in such incidents. Indian Air Force authorities are investigating the cause of the Tejas crash, as safety remains a top priority in military aviation operations.

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