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India Defense Minister Flies In IAF MIG-21  
User currently offlineGamps From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 469 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5034 times:

Continuing his adventure, India Defense Minister George Fernandes wore blue overalls and pilot gear yesterday to fly in a MiG-21 for a 25 minutes sortie . This came after MPs in parliament dared Mr Fernandes to fly in the notorious MiG-21, over 100 of which have crashed in the last decade. Wing Commander who flew the MIG said that maneuvers performed included barrel-roll, wing overroll and steep turns.

Not a new thing for George Fernandes who recently flew a Sukhoi and has spent a night in Indian Navy submarine.

The spate of crashes has made Indian media nickname the MIG-21 as "flying coffins", though most of the accidents are due to pilot errors and only 2 were due to mechanical failure.

More details here:


4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 3389 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 13 hours ago) and read 4824 times:

To see just how bad the attrition rate of the MiG-21 is in Indian service, I reccomend this tite: http://www.warbirdsofindia.com/Crashes/India.html. It lists all crashes of combat types since independence (1947), including those lost/intentionally destroyed on the ground during conflicts with pakistan. It also has a WWII section, and an accounting for Pakistani losses over time too, gleaned from media sources.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2734 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 7 hours ago) and read 4767 times:
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Why are the losses so huge?

User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1538 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 4751 times:
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I'd firstly like to state that the points below are entirely my opinion and belief:

The crash of the MiG21s in India (115 approx since 1990 and over 50 in the past 3 years) is due to a combination of factors.

1. Aviation in India is hardly encouraged. We have just under 170 commercial aircraft for a population of over 1 billion. How do you expect kids to be motivated to take up aviation as a career. Apart from that learning to fly in India is prohibitively expensive and takes a very long time. Flying schools are rare and the requirements are also rather ridiculuous. It leads to frustration and a tendency to opt for easier career options.

2. The best and the brightest in India are probably more keen on winging their way out of the country opting for an IT or a management or a finance related career. Joining aviation or indeed the Air Force somehow still does not produce the kind of fire or enthusiasm as it probably did a generation ago. Greater focus on remuneration, benefits etc. as opposed to facing the hardships of military life seems to be the mindset.

3. For those who do manage to gain entrance into the Air Force, their basic jet training is carried out the 'Kiran' and the Polish 'Iskra' (I think these are still in service) - trainers from a bygone era. From there comes the huge leap without any intermediate or advanced jet trainer - straight into the MiG21. A proven fighter, the MiG21 has the flying qualities of a brick if there is an engine failure or such a problem. It is unfair to expect greenhorns to be proficient with such a demanding Mach 2 jet. Unforgiving as it is, the MiG21 kills them for even the smallest blunders.

4. Spares inventory for the type is also a serious cause of worry with the collapse of the former USSR.

A combination of these factors in my opinion are to blame for the MiG21 fiasco. It's the system that is to blame rather than the airplane or the pilots. And above all it is indeed sad that an aircraft as distinguished as the MiG21 should be thus vilified in its sunset years.


Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4730 times:

The airframes itself still have quite a few years left in them. What was required was upgradation of avionics systems and acquisition of training devices such as Flight Simulators. Many of the accidents took place while practising engine flame outs and low-level turbulence exercises.


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