Poland will suspend all flights of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter planes until Friday's crash of one of the aircraft is explained by a state commission, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced at a press conference on Friday.
A Polish MiG-29 plane from the 22nd Air Base in Malbork, north Poland, crashed at 1:57 am on Friday some 50 km east from its base, near Pasłęk, the Defence Ministry has reported. The pilot managed to bail out but did not survive, the Polish Press Agency reported Friday.
The pilot had over 850 hours flight time, including over 600 hours in MiG-29 planes and took part in many national and international exercises, the ministry said.
The Committee for the Investigation of National Aviation Accidents has been dealing with the accident, the defence minister said. "The commission's experts have already gone to the crash site, which has been secured by Military Police," he explained.
This is not the first time that the MiG-29 fleet has been grounded. In December last year, All MiG-29s except those on quick reaction alert were grounded, when a MiG-29A crash landed in a forest at the end of a low-visibility training flight in bad weather.