A Polish Air Force MiG-29 “Fulcrum” fighter jet crashed into a field in the country’s north during a night training mission, killing its pilot.
According to the country’s Defense Ministry, the jet crashed at 1:57 a.m. on July 6 near the town of Paslek, Warmia-Mazury province while conducting an interception exercise. The plane fell 500 meters from the houses.
The 33-year-old pilot, whose name was not released, ejected from the aircraft over the vicinity of the settlement Sakuv near the town of Malbork, but did not survive. His body was found a few hundred meters away from the aircraft debris.
The jet was stationed at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in the town of Malbork and the experienced pilot had some 800 hours of flight time. The 22nd Tactical Air Base is a Polish Air Force Air Force Base east of Malbork, Poland, near the village of Królewo Malborskie.
W nocy rozbił się samolot z 22 Bazy Lotnictwa Taktycznego. Zginął pilot. Wyrazy współczucia dla bliskich zmarłego. Rodzina żołnierza została objęta wsparciem ze strony państwa. Komisja Badania Wypadków Lotniczych Lotnictwa Państwowego już bada okoliczności tragicznego wypadku
— Mariusz Błaszczak (@mblaszczak) July 6, 2018
Polish Air Force authorities have ordered the grounding of all of the Soviet-made MiG-29 jets pending an investigation.
In December last year, a Polish Air Force MiG-29 crashed in the vicinity of the Minsk Mazowiecki airbase, while landing there injuring the pilot. This was reportedly the first ever crash of a Polish Air Force Fulcrum in history.
Poland operates around 30 aging MiG-29 fighter jets which have been in service for almost 30 years. The Polish MiG-29 jets, along with the Soviet-era Su-22 Fitter attack aircraft, will be replaced by a new multirole combat fighter procured via the “Harpia” program.
Mikoyan MiG-29 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-29; NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) is a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union.
Developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter during the 1970s, the MiG-29, along with the larger Sukhoi Su-27, was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The MiG-29 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1982. The MiG-29 has also been a popular export aircraft; more than 30 nations either operate or have operated the aircraft to date, India being one of the largest export operators of the type.