Pakistan

QUETTA – A pilot of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has embraced martyrdom when a training jet crashed in southwestern Pakistan, according to a PAF statement.

The fighter jet F7-PG crashed in Mastung area of Balochistan province, officials said on Wednesday.

The pilot has been identified as Flight Lieutenant Tahir.

The aircraft, according to the Air Force, was on a routine training mission.

Air force officials, Frontier Corps and Levies rushed to spot soon after the crash and cordoned the area.

The PAF statement added that a board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of the crash.

According to the PAF spokesman, an inquiry board has been constituted to probe the crash.

The F-7PG aircraft, based on the Soviet-era Mig-21 and built by a leading Chinese aircraft manufacturer, has a spotty service record in PAF service with the majority of recent crashes involving the aircraft.

The PAF is to replace its entire F-7 fleet with the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft.

In 2017, a PAF fighter jet F7-PG crashed near Mastung during what officials described as a routine training operation. The pilot however remained safe after ejecting to safety.