Missing MiG-29 pilot confirmed dead

Shimla : The remains of the pilot of the ill-fated MiG-29 combat jet that crashed in the Himalayan heights of Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley last month have been recovered, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said Sunday.

“Small remains of Squadron Leader D.S. Tomar were recovered near the Gangstang glacier in the Chokhang hills Saturday,” Western Air Command spokesman Wing Commander S.K. Mehta said over telephone from New Delhi.

He said Tomar’s family has been informed about his death.

“Some more parts of the engine, wings and cockpit, but smaller in size, have been recovered in the area. Now the search is on to locate the data recorder (black box),” he said.

The MiG-29 was on a night mission Oct 18 after taking off from Adampur for Jalandhar in Punjab. It crashed at elevations ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 feet above sea level.

He said prime facie it seemed that the jet disintegrated in mid-air.

Another IAF officer said a reason for the crash could be the disorientation of the pilot, which was common during night flying.

“The exact reasons of the crash would only be known after the recovery of the black box,” he added.

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