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Russian MiG-29 crashes, pilot killed

A Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighter jet crashed on Friday in East Siberia. RIA Novosti photo

MOSCOW (PTI): A Russian-designed MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed on Friday in East Siberia killing the pilot prompting the Russian Air Chief to ground all similar aircraft till the end of probe into this accident.

The MiG-29 aircraft crashed at 07:42 IST about 5 km from the Domna airfield in the Chita Region in the east of Moscow, media reports said on Friday.

“The MiG-29 crashed, the pilot, vice squadron leader, is dead. No civilian casualties or damage has been reported,” Air Force spokesman Colonel Vladimir Drik told NTV channel.

According to preliminary information, the crash was apparently caused by ‘a technical failure’.

A Defence Ministry team has been rushed to investigate the matter. The pilot had either failed to eject, or ejected too late, the TV channel reported quoting rescue officials.

However, the TV channels do not rule out that pilot had tried to avert the damage on the ground noting that it fell only 700 meters from the Ingoda settlement before bursting into flames.

According to RIA Novosti Friday's crash is the second such reported incident in East Siberia involving a MiG-29 fighter aircraft in the last few months.

In mid-October, a MiG-29 fighter crashed 60 km from the same Domna airfield during a regular training flight, however, then the pilot had ejected safely.

Last year, two Russian Air Force MiG-29 fighters were involved in a mid-air collision over the Rostov Region, and both pilots bailed out safely.

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