IAF locates the site of Mig-29 crash in Himachal


The Indian Air Force located the site of the MiG-29 aircraft that crashed in Lahaul and Spiti valley area a week ago. The Western Air Command announced here on Thursday that its task force Commander Group Captain P.K. Sharma, who was coordinating the search for the missing aircraft and pilot, confirmed locating it at 15000 feet at Chokhang village in Lahaul area of Himachal Pradesh.

Till Wednesday, the IAF flew 149 sorties after mounting the search and rescue following the October 18 crash. The site was located by aerial search and imageries received from the remotely piloted aircraft and other aircraft by conducting photo reconnaissance of the area.

Since the aircraft had disintegrated into small pieces after the crash, its debris was spread across the slopes on either side of the ridge, and could not be identified on the basis of the visual data.

Subsequently, Thirot area village head retrieved some components with the help of locals, which the IAF identified to be of the MiG-29, the WAC spokesman Wg. Cdr Sandeep Mehta said.

The IAF search teams, including eight expert mountaineers, were dropped on the ledge 200m above the suspected crash site to recover the remains. Nearly 55 personnel, including expert mountaineers from the IAF, Army and local mountaineers were associated in the search mission.

The task force commander undertook aerial reconnaissance by helicopter to guide the teams to precise locations. The team was under threat from wildlife since fresh snow had claw marks of animals – suspected to be of bears in the area.

The crashed MiG-29 aircraft was part of two that took from Adampur in Jalandhar for a night-flying exercise in high altitude. During a turn, one of them crashed into a mountain. Whereabouts of the pilot of the crashed were still unknown at the time of filing of this story.

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