Watch: Tejas pilot miraculously escapes unhurt as IAF aircraft crashes in Rajasthan

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An India-made Tejas light combat aircraft crashed near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on March 12. Thankfully, the pilot was able to eject safely before the crash. A video showing the pilot parachuting down seconds prior to the crash has gone viral.

The crash, witnessed during an operational training sortie, marks the first time a Tejas jet has met with such an accident. Notably, the crash caused no loss of human life or property, according to Jaisalmer Additional Superintendent of Police Mahendra Singh. 

In fact, only thick black smoke billowing from a single-storey brick structure where the aircraft crashed pointed to the incident.

Interestingly, the crash occurred approximately 100 kilometres from the Pokhran desert which was hosting the mega war game ‘Bharat Shakti’, observed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top military brass. Military sources suggested to PTI that the crashed Tejas jet was scheduled to participate in the exercise.

The incident has led to the Indian Air Force ordering a Court of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident. The statement from the force confirmed that the aircraft crashed during an operational training sortie and the pilot safely ejected.

Induction of the Tejas, signifying flame or brilliance in Sanskrit, into the fleet in 2016 was a remarkable development in India’s endeavour to modernise its largely Soviet-era fleet. 

However, the crash broke the jet’s safety record since its first test flight over two decades ago, an Air Force officer disclosed to Reuters.

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