Service No : 30501 F(P)

Date of Birth : December 31, 1986

Last Rank : Squadron Leader

Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force

Martyrdom : July 18, 2018

Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar

Squadron Leader Meet Kumar was born on 31 Dec 1986. Son of Shri Pravin Kumar, he had a strong desire to join the armed forces right from his childhood, which grew along with his age. After completing his graduation, he got selected for the IAF in the flying branch as a short service commissioned officer. After completing his training he was commissioned into the Indian Air Force on 27 Jun 2009 at the age of 22 years. He got trained as a fighter pilot as part of 1 SSC(M) FP course, which happened to be the first pilots' course for the short service commissioned officers. 


He underwent multi-phase flying training and soon became proficient in various air operations. Subsequently he served at many Air Force bases and gathered substantial flying experience. He got promoted to the rank of Sqn Ldr on  27 Jun 2015. Later he got posted to the Air Force base at Pathankot in 2018. While serving with 26 Sqn, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar flew MiG-21 aircraft which was the second oldest fighter aircraft in the inventory of  IAF and had the highest landing and take-off speeds.  Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar evolved into a professionally competent pilot, who 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


During 2018, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar was serving with 26 Squadron based at Air Force Station Pathankot in Punjab. During peacetime operational training is one of the most important activities of IAF which helps it to remain prepared to take on any eventuality. As part of the training schedule, the fighter pilots of 26 Sqn practiced various complex air excesses during day as well as night. A war-like situation was invariable created in the air for the pilots to practice and remain updated. Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar too was undertaking training sorties to practice complex air operations on a regular basis. On 18 July 2018, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar was tasked for another such operational sortie. On July 18, 2018, at around 12:20 pm, Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar took off in his MiG 21 Bis aircraft (C-2242) 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 the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh before coming down. Sqn Ldr Meet Kumar using his flying skills tried to maneuver the aircraft away from the residential area of the village to minimize the loss of life and property. But eventually, the aircraft crashed near Mehra Palli village in the 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 wife, daughter and parents.

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  • kundan

    2023at9:06 am 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.


    2023at9:06 am Reply

    In reply to kotte mahesh.
    Your legacy will always be carried forward sir.

  • VasantKumar KV

    2023at9:07 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.

  • Nandeswar Das

    2023at9:08 am Reply

    Mig 21 Flying coffin

  • kotte mahesh

    2023at9:08 am Reply

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

  • Col Sumant Kumar Anand (Retd)

    2023at9:09 am Reply

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

  • SreeKumar

    2023at9:10 am Reply

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

  • Vikrant

    2023at9:10 am 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.

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