MILMAG Defence & Space 02/2020 »

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Polish MiG-29 crashes

On 6 July, near the Pasłęk town in Warminsko-Mazurskie voivodship a Polish MiG`s-29 crash occurred. The plane tail no. 4103 was from the 22 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego (22 Tactical Aviation Base) in Królewo Malborskie. The 33-year old pilot managed to eject but was later found dead.

MiG-29 is a supersonic fighter plane used for air-to-air combat. /Photo: Jakub Link-Lenczowski

The tragic event took place at 01:57, during a night flight. According to the Polish Ministry of Defence pilot ejected near the Sakówka town, about 18 km from Malbork. Wreckage was found 500 m from the town's buildings.

The causes of the crash are yet unknown. The circumstances are being examined by Komisja Badania Wypadków Lotniczych Lotnictwa Państwowego (Committee for Investigation of National Aviation Accidents). The investigation was initialized by the military branch of the Regional Prosecutor`s Office. The deceased pilot had over 850 hours of flight time, including over 600 in the MiG-29 plane and took part in numerous national and international exercises.

The crash is another accident of this type of plane is recent months. On 18 December 2017, another MiG-29A had an accident near the Ryczołek town in Mazowieckie voivodship. Pilot survived and was found by the Forestry Guard. The plane (tail no. 67, serial no. 5960526367) served in the Air Force since 17 of July 1989 and had it`s major rebuild carried out in 2002. Jet was a part of 23rd Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Mińsk Mazowiecki. This was the first serious accident of this type of plane in Polish Air Force.

Previously, on the 11th of June 2016, during a technical engine start carried out by groundcrew of the 22nd BLotT a fire happened in another MiG-29. Information about a failed turbostarter was revealed on the 24th of August 2016. Snapped propellers of the turbostarter damaged the fuel lines and caused the fire. The plane was taken out of service. Polish Air Force still had 29 planes of this type. Twenty-three are the single-seat MiG-29A (9.12A) and MiG-29G (9.12A). Six are MiG-29UB (9.51) and MiG-29GT (9.51) two-seaters.

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