It is very rare that there be an accident in any “wing” of the Defense Forces. But as fate would have it, mishaps do occur at some point or the other. Yesterday, two external fuel tanks of an Indian Navy MiG-29K plane fell off separately. One landed at the naval air station INS Dega and the other near CISF quarters, both in Visakhapatnam. The pilots miraculously escaped unhurt.
According to the Navy sources, the MIG was taking off on a routine training sortie from INS Dega at 10am. That is when a drop tank, which carries additional fuel, jettisoned accidentally causing a minor fire broke out on the runway. The ground support staff had quickly doused the flames and no one was injured in the fire. There was also no damage to the aircraft or the runway, the sources maintained. The pilot was directed to jettison the second drop tank in the sea but it could not be done due to malfunctioning in the system. And when the aircraft was coming back for landing, the second drop tank fell near the CISF quarters.
Overall there have been no casualties in this incident. As per the Forces’ protocol, a Board of Inquiry has been initiated into the incident. And, we should respect that the Defense Forces would never allow a civilian media coverage of any internal inquiries.