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Another Sad news today..!!!

One more of Our Brave Fighter Pilots lost his life on the "Flying Coffin".

HE WAS SWAPNIL SARKAR PANDEY, A JUNIOR TO ME IN THE AIR FORCE GOLDEN JUBILEE INSTITUTE,NEW DELHI.. AN EVER LAUGHING PERSON, AMAZING SINGER AND THIS IS A VERY TRAJIC NEWS FOR ME PERSONALLY.

I DEDICATE THIS PHOTOGRAPH OF SUNSET OVER THE BAY OF BENGAL TO ALL THE PILOTS WHO LOST THEIR LIFE IN PEACE TIME ON Mig 21.

Of the 793 MiG aircraft used by the IAF since 1963, more than 331 have been lost in accidents.The latest being yesterday when a Mig-21 crashed into a Tea Estate in Shiva Khola in darjeeling Area. Its pilot Squadran Leader S.Pandey was killed in the crash.He after sensing the aircraft is going to crash, steered the aircraft out of populated area and then could not eject because of a jammed canopy.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21) (NATO reporting name "Fishbed") is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed and built by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. More than 30 countries of the world have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its first flight. Its Mach 2 capability exceeds the top speed of many later modern fighter types. Estimates are that more than 8,000 MiG-21s were built, more than any other supersonic jet aircraft.

MiG-21 fighters make up half the Indian Air Force fleet, most of them bought from the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago. India has more than 300 ageing MiG-21s, known as "flying coffins" because more than 150 have crashed in the past 10 years.

The Mig that crashed yesterday was a type 77 aircraft which was inducted before the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict and the Indian Air Force continues to have a number of these aircrafts and is possibly the only Air Force in the world to be flying these oldies.In the last six years, atleast 55 IAF MIG-21 hav been lost killing a number of Pilots.

My point is ,a pilots is like an asset to any Air Force. One can get fighter planes by paying in but a trained pilot is not got like that and why is our government continuing to fly these aircraft when superior versions are available and the defense budget soaring to such heights which can run a small country for a year. These aircrafts should be grounded immediately.

WE ALL PRAY FOR SQUADRON LEADER S. PANDEY,S SOUL AND SATULE HIM AND HIS FAMILY FOR GIVING THIS SUPREME SACRIFICE FOR THE COUNTRY.

~~~~R . I . P~~~~~

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Additional Photos by Indranil Kar (indoka28) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 412 W: 744 N: 1244] (5261)
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