What's new

IAF chief Dhanoa flies single-seater MiG-21

anant_s

SENIOR MEMBER
Aug 21, 2012
5,602
92
16,702
Country
India
Location
India
IAF chief Dhanoa flies single-seater MiG-21


Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa flying MiG-21. (TOI photo)

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa flew MiG-21 for a 30-minute sortie all alone from the forward Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan on Thursday
  • Before that, the then Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis flew a MiG-21 solo in 2000-2001, he had then undertaken sorties on MiG-21s at Bareilly and Chandigarh
NEW DELHI: It's not often an IAF chief tears into the skies on a fighter jet all alone. And that too on a single-seat ageing MiG-21. Air Chief Marshal Birender SinghDhanoa did just that from the forward Uttarlai airbase in Rajasthan on Thursday.

The last time an IAF chief flew a MiG-21 solo was way back in 2000-2001. Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis (retd) had then undertaken sorties on MiG-21s at Bareilly and Chandigarh to send "a message to the boys" that the delta-winged fighters were still airworthy in the backdrop of them being dubbed "flying coffins" across the country.

Over 15 years later, which included the Aamir Khan-starrer "Rang De Basanti'' in 2006 that dwelt upon the high number of MiG crashes, Dhanoa flew his MiG-21 for a 30-minute sortie around noon on Thursday to ostensibly send a similar message and boost morale down the ranks.

In fact, the MiG-21 "Type-96" the almost 60-year-old "Tony" Dhanoa flew is the oldest version of the single-engine fighter still in service with the IAF. In all, the IAF still has nine MiG-21 squadrons (six of them are of the upgraded MiG-21 "Bisons") out of a total of 33 fighter squadrons due to the contnuing huge delays in induction of new fighters. The force, incidentally, needs 42-44 fighter squadrons to tackle the "collusive threat" from Pakistan and China.


Dhanoa has clocked well over 3,000 flying hours on a wide variety of fighters since he was commissioned as a fighter pilot in June 1978. "He flew the same type of aircraft, which is a ground-attack fighter, during the Kargil conflict in 1999. As the commanding officer of the 17 `Golden Arrows' squadron, he had then carried out many night strike missions on the icy mountainous heights to evict the well-entreched Pakistani intruders. He was awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal for it," said an officer.


The Soviet-origin MiG-21s were the first truly supersonic fighters to be inducted by the IAF in 1963. They were at the forefront of air operations during the 1965 and 1971 wars, outgunning Pakistani Sabres and Starfighters by a wide margin. It were also the MiG-21s that hit the Dhaka Government House with rockets on December 14 to force Pakistan's abject surrender in the 1971 war.


Of the design vintage of the 1960s, the MiG-21's stellar track-record was marred with a high crash rate in later years. Of the 872 MiG-21s progressively inducted by IAF, almost 400 have crashed since 1971-72, killing over 180 pilots and 40 civilians.




Without modern systems like FADEC (full authority digital electronic controls) and mission computers, the MiG-21s have the highest landing and take-off speed in the world at 340 kmph. "They are very demanding, and highly unforgiving to pilot errors. While combat flying is inherently dangerous, modern fighters have built-in safety mechanisms," said a fighter pilot.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/iaf-chief-dhanoa-flies-single-seater-mig-21/articleshow/56503982.cms
 

graphican

ELITE MEMBER
Jul 21, 2009
12,170
47
19,961
Country
Pakistan
Location
Australia
He would want to give message that if I can do it, why are other pilots refusing to fly them. But this kind of one-off flying vs pilots flying them every day are two different things. Also how can one-off flying hide list of grim incidents and deaths indian pilots suffered over time?
 

lonelyman

SENIOR MEMBER
Feb 19, 2015
3,167
-14
6,767
Country
China
Location
China
With 9 operational squadrons how is it considered a stunt !!
Come on man, even China India don't see eye to eye, right place mig 21 belongs to is trash can, that's why u started LCA in the first place, isn't it? Of course, had LCA a success story,
 

a.kumar

FULL MEMBER
May 13, 2013
456
0
413
Country
India
Location
India
Come on man, even China India don't see eye to eye, right place mig 21 belongs to is trash can, that's why u started LCA in the first place, isn't it? Of course, had LCA a success story,
Where does Chengdu J-7 belongs ?
 

Jugger

SENIOR MEMBER
Nov 17, 2016
3,258
-9
2,975
Country
India
Location
France
Saddest thing is, he is still flying the Mig 21:sad:

The Mig 21s had it's day, now it should be retired and replaced by more modern aircraft's ASAP.
 

third eye

ELITE MEMBER
Aug 24, 2008
18,395
13
24,596
Country
India
Location
India
Come on man, even China India don't see eye to eye, right place mig 21 belongs to is trash can, that's why u started LCA in the first place, isn't it? Of course, had LCA a success story,
I concede that the MIG needs to go but till an alternative comes in numbers these machines need to stay fit.

the Chief has done a goo job by taking it up himself
 

Imran Khan

PDF VETERAN
Oct 18, 2007
60,436
2
119,974
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Who told you this are in IAF my friend in srinagar AFS and bison are still considered backbone of interceptor attack
ITS NOT mine words its your media reporting it since late 1990s .

Why are MiGs flying coffins for IAF pilots?
In the IAF, pilots literally dread flying the MiG machines. Because, as many as 482 MiG-21s had been involved in accidents and as many as 171 pilots, 39 civilians and eight persons from other services lost their lives in these accidents in the last 40 years.

In this way, the Indian Air Force has lost more than half of its total fleet of 872 MiG aircraft.
http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/why-are-migs-flying-coffins-for-iaf-pilots-25135.html

Mig-21 crash: No replacement for the ‘Flying coffin’ in near future

Historically, Mig-21 fighters have had a poor track record when it comes to flight safety. Due to its poor safety record, the Russian-origin fighter aircraft has been given the tag, “Flying Coffin” in popular discourse. As per official records, more than 170 IAF pilots have been killed in MIG-21 accidents since 1970.

http://indianexpress.com/article/ex...acement-for-the-flying-coffin-in-near-future/
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom