A female Pakistani fighter pilot has been killed after her trainer jet crashed near the central town of Mianwali, according to the Pakistan military. It was the first such loss for the country’s tiny community of women pilots. Marium Mukhtiar succumbed to her injuries and died on Tuesday after what the Pakistani Air Force described as “routine operational training”.
A second pilot survived. “Squadron Leader Saqib Abbasi and Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar were on a routine operational training mission when it encountered a serious in-flight emergency during the final stages of the mission,” the air force said. Mukhtiar was the first female fighter pilot from Pakistan killed while on active duty.
“Ensuring safety of life and property of the civilian population on ground, both the pilots ejected and the aircraft crashed near Kundian, Mianwali.” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder reported that an FT-7PG aircraft was involved in the accident.
The aircraft is a modified Chinese copy of the Russian MiG-21 aircraft. “It is not clear what led to the crash. However, the air force investigation team is already heading to the location,” he said. The air force had 19 women pilots in 2013, the last year for which the figure was immediately available.