May 5, 2002
The Indian Air Force has lost 102 of it's Russian-made MiG-21 fighters and 39 pilots to crashes, from 1 April 1992 to 31 March 2002. Indian Defense minister George Fernandes claimed that the losses were due to human error, bird hits and technical defects. Fernandes also told the press that these accidents have cost the world's fourth largest $63.7 million over a ten year period.
The Indian Air Force has over 700 MiG-21s, with the most modern variant being the MiG 21bis. One website (Warbirds of India) tracks the critical information associated with MiG-21 crashes at http://www.warbirdsofindia.com/Crashes/search.asp?plane=50&fmdt=&tdt=&pg=1
- Adam Geibel