Around noon, Indian time, a MiG-29K of the Indian Navy crashed during a training flight. The aircraft had only just left the airbase when it got into trouble. Not much later, the Russian-built aircraft hit the ground. This happened not far from Dabolim International Airport, located in the smallest Indian state of Goa.
From the flight itself we know that the pilots wanted to start a regular training over Goa. However, after a few minutes it was determined that the right engine had problems and a fire was detected. Later it was confirmed that this was caused by a bird strike just after take-off from INS HANSA naval air station at Dabolim. The pilots reacted immediately and both used the ejection seat. The Navy spokesman confirmed this in a tweet: “The MiG-29K trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Captain M Sheokhand and Lt Commander Deepak Yadav ejected safely.”
A @indiannavy aircraft crashed on the #Margao. Both pilots ejecuted safely, Search and rescue operation initiated by navy. #Navy to give more details. pic.twitter.com/HUKvTBCQk8
— Newton Sequeira (@NewtonSTOI) November 16, 2019
From the aircraft itself we know that it is a Mikoyan MiG-29K which is used for training purposes in India. It was produced in the Soviet Union and is a variant of the very successful MiG-29. The Indian Navy received the first one in 2009. This makes it the only country besides Russia that has this type of aircraft in service.
Search and rescue are currently underway. The Navy itself is also investigating the location of the aircraft.
More info will follow.