A Russian Air Force MiG-29 caught fire on an airfield in the Narimanov district on August 23 in the second incident involving a MiG-29 jet in Russia’s Astrakhan region.
The fighter jet was engulfed in fire while undergoing scheduled repair work and burned down completely. There are no reports of casualties, the Baza Telegram channel reported. There is no official statement as yet from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
On August 19, a MiG-29 crashed during a training flight near the Ashuluk test site, Astrakhan region. The pilot was killed in the accident. Adverse weather that developed due to the proximity of the Caspian Sea and the mountains of Dagestan was initially blamed for the crash. A court of inquiry has been ordered.
This is the fourth accident involving Russian military aircraft during the past fortnight.
Earlier, a BE-200 crashed killing three crew members while on a fire-fighting mission in Turkey. An IL-112V prototype crashed near Moscow after its right engine caught fire during the run-up to the ARMY-2021 event in which two pilots and an engineer lost their lives.
While the reasons for these crashes are under investigation, there are various theories bring discussed in the Russian media, many of them blaming air safety procedures.
Reports quoting Honored pilot of Russia Yuri Sytnik noted that it was not the pilots who were to blame for these accidents, but those who manage airfields and pilots, Topcor.ru says.
Yuri Sytnik believes that there are no high-quality pilot training system in Russia currently and no system to transfer pilot experience. Command and control personnel do not want to take responsibility for training, because they are afraid of losing their jobs.
Sytnik added that in other countries such incompetent people would not be allowed close to the process of training flight personnel.
The recent accidents have come at a time when Russia is negotiating a contract to sell 18 MiG-29 jets to India and is promoting its upgrade, the MiG-35 in foreign markets.