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A recently built LCA-Tejas aircraft (SP-24/ LA-5020) tragically crashed near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, on Tuesday during an operational training sortie. Thankfully, the pilot ejected safely, marking the first-ever crash of the Tejas in its 23-year operational history.

The relatively new aircraft, having completed its maiden flight in March 2021, raises concerns regarding the cause of the incident. Reports suggest the pilot informed air traffic control (ATC) about engine failure before ejecting, indicating a potential issue with power generation during landing.

This incident casts a shadow on the Tejas fleet’s previously unblemished safety record. While a Court of Inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to investigate the matter thoroughly, its findings are unlikely to be made public.

However, the inquiry will delve into the aircraft’s service records, including a meticulous examination of the engine. Addressing any technical shortcomings identified during the investigation will be crucial to ensure the continued safety of the Tejas fleet.