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In the first-ever crash of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas in Jaisalmer on Tuesday, initial reports suggest that engine failure caused the accident in which the pilot managed to eject safely. The LCA Tejas was part of the 18th Squadron of the Indian Air Force and participated in the tri-services exercise Bharat Shakti in Pokharan before crashing in Jaisalmer city.

Prima Facie, it is emerging that the engine failure caused the crash today but more details would be known only after the detailed inquiry is completed, defence officials told ANI.

It is also learnt that the pilot communicated to the ground station about the engine issue before ejection. The Indian Air Force and other agencies concerned are going to investigate the matter in detail as it is the first time in 23 years that the indigenous fighter has crashed. “A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas of the Indian Air Force crashed near Jaisalmer today during an operational training sortie.

The pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the Indian Air Force said after the crash.