Search and rescue teams of the Indian Navy on Sunday located some debris of the MiG-29K trainer aircraft that crashed into the Arabian Sea three days ago even as efforts to locate the missing pilot continued, officials said on Sunday.
The debris located includes the landing gear, turbo charger and some other parts of the aircraft, they said.
Multiple naval aircraft and warships have been deployed off the country’s west coast to locate the missing pilot
“In addition to nine warships and 14 aircraft engaged in the search efforts, Indian Navy’s fast interceptor craft are also deployed to search waters along the coast. Further, the marine/coastal police are on the lookout and nearby fishing villages have been sensitised,” a Navy spokesperson said.
The Russian-origin twin-seat trainer jet went down on Thursday after taking off from India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. While rescue teams were able to recover one of the pilots on Thursday, the second pilot – Commander Nishant Singh – is still missing.
Thursday’s crash was the fourth accident involving the MiG-29K maritime fighter fleet.
While the cause of the crash is not known yet, India’s top auditor had in 2016 found deficiencies in the deck-based fighter. These included engine trouble, airframe problems and shortcomings in its fly-by-wire system.