482 such planes have crashed in 30 years. There is someone risking a lot more than F-22 pilots.

As already explained in a previous post, there’s a very small number of U.S. combat pilots who have asked not to fly the F-22 Raptor fighter jets, or to be reassigned to other units, because of the oxygen-deprivation problems with the fifth generation stealth fighter.

However, there’s another community of aircraft pilots risking much more than the U.S. elite fighter jocks.

On May 2, India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony said that 482 Mig-21 fighter, more than half of the India’s 873-strong Mig fleet, had met with an accident in the last three decades. Such impressive amount of mishaps caused the deaths of 171 pilots and 39 civilians.

That’s why the Indian ageing collection of Soviet-era Migs have been dubbed “widow makers” and have long been unpopular with India Air Force pilots.

I think Indian pilots deserve the right to ask to be reassigned to a safer plane too.

Image credit: Indian Air Force

About David Cenciotti 3774 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.