Islamabad: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilot flying a trainee aircraft safely ejected before the jet crashed near the Pindigheb area of the Attock district todayduring a routine training flight.
“The pilot ejected safely,” a PAF spokesperson said without identifying the pilot. “No loss of civilian life or damage to infrastructure was reported on the ground. PAF has launched the investigation and ordered a board of inquiry to determine the cause of the accident,” the spokesman added.
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PAF officials did not describe the aircraft type, however, some experts suggested that it was F-7PG – a single-engine, lightweight aircraft built by China, based on MiG-21 aircraft. The PAF uses the F-7PG for routine operational training missions.
This was the fifth such incident involving military aircraft since the start of this year, indicating an increasing number of serious mishaps for fighter and training aircraft. However, experts do not consider this worrying. “This attrition rate is high. But not the worst case scenario in the previous decade. Multiple reasons behind the trend of accidents will have to be curtailed by the PAF through various measures of the strategic, operational and tactical scale of things,” aviation analyst Fahad Ibne Masood told Gulf News.
In March, a PAF F-16 aircraft crashed near Shakarparian in Islamabad during March 23 parade rehearsals in which Wing Commander Nauman Akram was martyred. On February 12, a PAF trainer aircraft crashed during a routine training sortie near Takht Bhai in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In the same month, a PAF Mirage aircraft, also on a training mission, crashed near Shorkot. Pilots in both cases had ejected safely. In January, two PAF pilots were martyred after an FT-7 aircraft on a training mission crashed near Mianwali.