Service: Air Force

Last Rank : Squadron Leader

Unit : 26 sqn AF

Date of Martyrdom : Jul 18, 2018

Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar

Squadron Leader Meet Kumar was fighter pilot in the IAF and was posted at the Air Force base located at Pathankot during 2018. The eldest son of Mr Pravin Kumar, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar was serving with 26 Sqn AF during 2018 which was operating MiG-21 aircraft. He had experience in flying various types of fighter aircraft but had special liking for MiG-21. He was passionate about flying and had gained expertise in different types of air operations.


Whilst serving with 26 Sqn, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar flew MiG-21 aircraft  which has the highest landing and take-off speeds. However Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar was a professionally competent pilot and really loved his machine. This was clear from the promotional video of Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar shot by the Indian Air Force titled  ‘A Date With An Air warrior’ featuring him. Talking about the aircraft, in the video Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar says: “It is very powerful. The aircraft is capable of carrying more than 8 bombs at a time. When you fly this aircraft you feel none other than god. The bond 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.”


MiG-21 Air Crash : 18 July 2018


Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar was tasked for an operational sortie on 18 July 2018. It was part of the training which every fighter pilot undergoes on a regular basis to hone his flying skills and practice various maoeuvres required for operational missions. On July 18, 2018 at around 12:20 pm, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar took off in his MiG 21 aircraft from Air Force Station Pathankot. The sortie was uneventful for the first 45 minutes but the aircraft seemed to have developed a technical snag thereafter and became uncontrollable.


The aircraft was seen circling over the fields in a village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh before coming down. Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar using his flying skills tried to manoevre the aircraft away from residential area of the village to minimize the loss of life and property. But eventually the aircraft crashed near Mehra Palli village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, around 70 km from Dharamshala. However, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar could not survive the crash and succumbed to his injuries. He was a committed soldier and a gallant air warrior who laid  down his life in the service of the nation.


Squadron Leader Meet Kumar is survived by his by his wife, daughter and parents.

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  • Vikrant

    2018at12:17 pm Reply

    Rest in Peace, O brave soul. My heart goes out to the family members of all our brave pilots, who, despite being aware of the risks involved in piloting vintage aircrafts of IAF (MIG 21 – first flown in 60’s), do it anyway for the safety of the country. Shame on our government and bureaucracy for letting such unfortunate incidents to happen by sitting on IAF aircraft procurement for decades. If there is something called bad Karma, God will, one day, punish them for the same.

  • SreeKumar

    2018at4:09 pm Reply

    he died doing what he loved…on what he loved…rip warrior

  • Col Sumant Kumar Anand (Retd)

    2019at9:39 am Reply

    Warm regards to brave son of India who sacrificed his life while performing his noble duty. Salute to you Sir

  • kotte mahesh

    2019at5:55 pm Reply

    I Met him in Hyderabad.
    I am shocked to know this.
    very nice person.
    He is a role model for me.


      2020at11:04 am

      Your legacy will always be carried forward sir.

  • Nandeswar Das

    2019at7:52 am Reply

    Mig 21 Flying coffin

  • VasantKumar KV

    2019at9:52 am Reply

    My respectful tributes to Squadron Leader Meet Kumar. Sometimes fate has it for us, we go down with our beloved. MiG-21 was his beloved. His committment to save lives below costed his life. May God bestow his brave wife, his young daughter, his aged parents, the strength and courage to bear his irreplaceable loss. May his soul rest in peace.

  • kundan

    2021at12:25 pm Reply

    it’s time demanding to replace these aircraft as it is well know as flying coffin. 170 valuable life of our well trained air force pilots and approx 40 civilian has been lost their life by these aircraft. however indian defense procurement department has announced to procure new 114 new fighter aircraft along with 36 Rafael 4.5 generation aircraft, which is a welcoming decision. mig 21 is going to replace in phase manner which would save valuable life of our brave air force pilot.

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