The Hush Post: Squadron Leader Meet Kumar is no more. Flying a MiG-21 fighter jet from Pathankot air base on Wednesday on a routine sortie, he lost his life to a machine he thought was like a wife.
An hour after the take-off, the aircraft crashed near Jwali, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, killing the officer.
As per the eyewitnesses during the last few minutes, he seemingly steered away the aircraft from the civilian area and into the fields to ensure that no harm was caused to the people living in the area.
As soon as the news of the crash and his unfortunate death came out, a video shot by the Indian Air Force – A Date With An Airwarrior – featuring him went viral.
Dressed up in uniform, with his gear on, Squadron Leader Meet Kumar, can be heard recalling the special bond that he shared with this machine, which he said was much more than his love for his wife.
In a video he can be heard saying: “The bond that I share with this machine is very rare. It is more than my wife. We know each other very well. I have spent more time with this machine than my wife.” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed “deep grief” over his death. “Our heartfelt condolences to the family of brave pilot Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar, who we lost in the fateful crash,” she said. A Court of Inquiry (COI) has been ordered into the accident.
This is not the first time of a pilot being killed in a MiG crash. In fact, the IAF has been grappling with this issue for a long time. Once termed as Flying Coffin by a newspaper, the Air Force sought an unconditional apology from the newspaper.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre had on Wednesday told the Lok Sabha that a total of 25 accidents involving IAF aircraft have been reported since 2015-16. He said that a total of 39 people died in the accidents and that IAF lost all the aircraft involved in the crashes. He said there were five accidents involving aircraft of the Army during the period in which four people were killed.