24 hours after an Indian Air Force MiG-29 fighter crashed in a mountainous part of India’s north, a comprehensive search operation continues for the wreckage. The fate of the pilot, Squadron Leader D.S. Tomar, remains unknown. On Tuesday evening, two MiG-29s from the IAF’s Adampur air force base took off Tuesday night for a night combat training sortie over the Lahaul-Spiti valley, an area marked by lofty snowbound peaks and deep, remote valleys. According to local media reports, one of the MiG-29s crashed into a mountainside during a turn, throwing up the possibility of controlled flight into terrain. An investigation has been ordered, but will only be able to get started once the wreckage of the aircraft is found. The IAF has committed two Su-30MKIs, two Antonov-32s, a Dornier Do-228 and two helicopters to scout for the wreckage in an area that, by all accounts, has some of the most treacherous terrain. As of now, the pilot is officially designated missing. Pray.
(Sqn Ldr Tomar flew a MiG-29 as part of a five aircraft arrowhead formation at India’s Republic Day flypast in 2010.)