An Indian Air Force fighter plane suffered a minor mishap while on its way to taking part in a training sortie when it was hit by a bird.
The engine of Jaguar fighter aircraft suffered a bird hit soon after taking off from the Ambala air base on Thursday morning. An alert fighter jet pilot quickly dropped external fuel tanks and landed back.
"The pilot jettisoned his fuel tanks and external stores including some 10 kg practice bombs to gain height and managed to land back safely," they said.
The dropping of fuel tanks and external stores is part of the standard operating procedures of the Air Force when any plane suffers failure of one of the two engines.
The small bombs dropped by the pilot have been recovered, IAF sources told ANI.
The IAF will order a court of inquiry to investigate the reasons behind the incident. The air base is in the heart of Ambala city in Haryana and over the years, it has been surrounded by a thick population.