Pilot dies in military aircraft crash in India's western state

An Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was killed in a MiG-21 fighter aircraft crash in the western state of Rajasthan, officials said Saturday.

The aircraft, according to IAF, crashed during a training sortie in the western sector on late Friday evening.

"With deep sorrow, IAF conveys the sad demise of Wing Commander Harshit Sinha in the flying accident Friday evening and stands firmly with the family of the brave heart," read a statement issued by IAF.

Local media reports said the aircraft crashed in the Desert National Park area under the Sam police station in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.

IAF has ordered an inquiry into the crash.

Local media reports said five MiG-21 have crashed this year, in which three pilots were killed.

One pilot was killed in March at Gwalior and another pilot was killed in Rajasthan in May.

On Dec. 8, a military helicopter crashed at Coonoor area of Nilgiris district, about 538 km southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, killing India's Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. 

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