The Indian Airforce (IAF) pilots tend to pull the ejection handle at the first sign of an emergency, this was claimed to be one of the reasons behind IAF's high attrition rate. While the MiG-21 crashes within IAF reached an alarming level, the loss of around 60 Twin engine Jaguar aircraft has raised more suspicion that Indian pilots exist their aircraft at a very early stage when facing an emergency. The recent crash between an SU-30 and a Mirage-2000 makes some interesting reading but first let's look at an incident that occurred in the 80s during the height of cold war involving a Russian MiG-23.
The Russian jet was flying over East Germany and heading directly towards West Germany, which prompted NATO to go on alert and scramble fighter jets. Two F-15 Eagles intercepted the MiG as it entered into West German airspace, the F-15 pilots, however reported that the canopy on the MiG was missing and there was no pilot in the aircraft. As the MiG was flying over a built up area, the F-15s were ordered to hold fire but keep tailing the Russian jet. Sometimes later, after running out of fuel, the MiG-23 nosedived into some fields. It later transpired that while flying over East Germany, the MiG pilot experienced some malfunction and ejected from the single engine jet, however, after the pilot exited from his aircraft, the MiG somehow regained power and continued on it's heading thus ending up over Western Germany.
coming back to the topic, an Indian SU-30 and Mirage-2000 were reportedly involved in a mid air crash last week. The Mirage is said to have gone down instantly killing it's pilot . The two SU-30 crew ejected and were recovered close to the Mirage crash site. (I KM from the Mirage wreckage). But what is remarkable that the SU-30 flew on for more than 100 KM before crashing near a railway station. The SU-30 is twin engine large and powerful aircraft, even if one of it's engine is knocked out, it's said to survive on the second engine or at least can recover back to base. The fact that it continued to fly for over a 100 KMs after collision, lends support to the claim that rather than trying to save the aircraft, the pilots panicked and exited from the aircraft at first instance.