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Home>>World >> Europe
09:01, August 17, 2009

Russian fighter planes collide in training flight, one killed

Two Russian Su-27 fighters on Sunday collided during a training flight, killing one pilot, according to Russian news agencies.

"According to updated information, one of the three pilots was killed in the air disaster," the Interfax news agency quoted Air Force spokesman Vladimir Drik as saying.


Two Russian jet fighters have collided while rehearsing for a major air show outside of Moscow, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009.Both pilots parachuted to safety..(Xinhua/FAP Photo)


Two jets from the aerobatic team the Russian Knights collided in mid-air over the Ramenskoye airfield in southeastern Moscow while rehearsing for the MAKS 2009 air show, Russia's largest and most important exhibition for aerospace industry that opens on Tuesday.

The dead pilot was the Russian Knights' commander, according to the Interfax.

The Interfax said in an earlier report that all the three pilots were found after ejection and were in satisfactory conditions.

The RIA Novosti news agency also said citing source from Russian defense ministry that one pilot was killed in the collision.

"There is thick smoke over the site. We saw two parachutes in the air after the collision," the RIA quoted a witness as saying.


Two Russian jet fighters have collided while rehearsing for a major air show outside of Moscow, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009.Both pilots parachuted to safety..(Xinhua/FAP Photo)


Five civilians were injured following the crash and have been hospitalized, the RIA added, citing a local police spokesman.

The cause of the collision has yet to be determined, and it maybe either "a bird hitting the engine or pilot error," said the Interfax.

Prosecutors from the Moscow Military District has launched a probe into the incident.

"A commission, comprised of Defense Ministry and Air Force command representatives, has been formed to investigate the accident," the Interfax quoted Drik as saying.

Also on Sunday, another two people were killed in a light-engine Yak-52 trainer aircraft crash southwest of Russian capital.

"The plane crashed at about 12:50 p.m. (0850 GMT) on the border between the Kaluga and Moscow regions during a training flight. Two people, a man and a woman, were killed, according to preliminary reports," said the RIA, citing a local emergencies spokesman.


Two Russian jet fighters have collided while rehearsing for a major air show outside of Moscow, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009.Both pilots parachuted to safety..(Xinhua/FAP Photo)

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