Polish Air Force MiG-29 jet crashes in field, killing pilot
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A MiG-29 military jet crashed during a night flight in the country’s north and the Polish Air Force pilot was killed despite ejecting before the crash, Poland’s defense officials said Friday.
The Defense Ministry said the jet crashed at 1:57 a.m. in fields near the town of Paslek during an interception exercise. Video from private broadcaster TVN showed the wreckage lying in a grain field, covered with firefighting foam. The body of the 33-year-old pilot, whose name was not released, was found a few hundred meters (yards) away.
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.
Air Force authorities have ordered all of the Soviet-made MiG-29 jets grounded pending an investigation.
In December, a pilot was injured when another MiG-29 crashed in central Poland.
Poland has some 30 MiG-29 fighter jets which have been in service for almost 30 years, but is gradually replacing them with U.S.-made F-16 aircraft.