Panaji: Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik on Sunday praised both pilots of the Navy MIG trainer that crashed here for pointing the aircraft away from populated areas.
The MiG-29K aircraft, attached to INS Hansa base in Dabolim, had crashed on a rocky plateau near Verna village on Saturday, with both pilots managing to eject safely.
"Brave work done by MiG-29k twin seater aircraft pilots Capt M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav by showing presence of mind and by pointing the aircraft away from the populated areas and ejecting safely. May God give them health and success," Naik, a Lok Sabha MP from North Goa, tweeted.
District Collector Ajit Roy told reporters on Saturday that the left engine of the aircraft flamed out while the right engine caught fire due to a bird hit.
He had said the incident happened as the aircraft, on a routine sortie, encountered a flock of birds after take off from INS Hansa Air base, adding that attempts to recover the aircraft were unsuccessful due to damage and low height.
"The pilot with his presence of mind pointed the aircraft away from populated areas and both pilots ejected safely," Roy had said.