A MiG-23 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in an open field on Thursday morning, near the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer highway in this district.
The two pilots managed to eject safely even as the plane crashed into the ground turning into a mangled mass of metal. The IAF has initiated a court of inquiry into the matter.
According to the defence sources, the jet carrying two pilots was on a routine sortie and had taken off from Jodhpur station at 12 noon.
“Close to village Gopasar, some 70 km from Jodhpur, the engine of the plane caught fire due to some technical snag,” an official source said.
The pilots immediately steered the plane away from populated areas to ensure that there are no casualties and then ejected, the source said. Both pilots landed on the ground unhurt.
“The plane crashed in an open field after catching fire. The entire field was strewn with debris,” said CO, Balesar, Ajeet Singh adding that no loss of life was reported.
According to the locals, the plane turned into a ball of fire in the sky and came shooting down towards the ground, wobbling a bit, before it crashed in the field with a bang.
IAF officials rushed to the spot and cordoned off the entire area, they said.
The incident comes just two days after an IAF helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh.The chopper had taken off on Tuesday from Pilputu helipad near Sagalee in Papum Pare district. It lost contact with the ground staff minutes after take-off, officials had said.