Russian Air Force Mikoyan MiG-31BM crashes in Central Russia. MiG-31 fighter jet has crashed near Kulebaki, Nizhegorodskaya Region (region of Nizhny Novgorod).
The pilots ejected safely. Preliminary data indicate that a technical flaw had caused the MiG-31 fighter jet’s crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“On September 19, at about 03.30 p.m. Moscow time [12:30 GMT], a MiG-31 fighter jet of the Aviation Staff Training Center crashed during a planned training flight at one of the military airfields in the Nizhny Novgorod region; both pilots successfully ejected,” the ministry said in a statement.
The plane crashed shortly after take-off, 17km from an airbase. The military jet reportedly caught fire before the crash. Both pilots – an instructor and a trainee – ejected safely and are safe and sound, the Russian military confirmed.
The MiG-31 was not armed, as the pilots were on a training flight.
The jet crashed in an unpopulated area with no damage to any structures on the ground. An investigation team has already arrived to inspect the wreckage at the wooded area where the jet crashed.
The jet exploded upon impact and burned, RIA Novosti reported, citing a military source.
According to the statement, the pilots were promptly evacuated by search-and-rescue personnel, and their lives are not in danger.
According to some reports, the plane took off from the Savasleika air base. It was on a planned training flight. Before crashing, the MiG-31 caught fire.
The Russian Defense Ministry is working to determine precisely the causes of the accident at the site of the crash.
The Mikoyan MiG-31 is an iconic long-range supersonic interceptor which has been in service for over 35 years. The plane has gone through several modernizations, remaining one of the most high-altitude planes in active service. MiG-31 planes have been used as carriers for the air-deployed hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, unveiled by Moscow this year.