The Indian Air Force (IAF) applauded the pilot of a Jaguar aircraft that had a narrow escape in Ambala on Thursday for his quick action that not only saved the fighter jet but also the lives of people.
The aircraft, with two extra fuel drop tanks and Carrier Bomb Light Stores pods, left the Air Force Station, Ambala for a training mission on Thursday.
As soon as the aircraft took off, it came across a flock of birds and consequently faced engine failure after suffering bird hit.
“Despite one of the most serious emergencies staring in his face, the young pilot evaluated the situation in a matter of seconds, ejected the two additional fuel drop tanks as well as the CBLS pods and went on to safely land the aircraft. His actions bear testimony to the highest professional standards of the IAF, resulting from extensive operational training,” the IAF said.
The professionalism and quick thinking of the pilot not only saved a war-waging asset but also the lives of the many civilians residing in the area adjoining the airfield, it added.
The aircraft took off from Ambala air base on a training mission at around 7.45 am on Thursday
It, however, suffered engine failure due to a bird hit immediately after the takeoff
The pilot jettisoned external stores including practice bombs as per protocol and carried out a safe landing
There was a muffled blast, after which the area was full of smoke due to some bushes catching fire
One of the fuel tanks landed in a residential area near the air base but no one was injured