A Russian Air Force MiG-29 caught fire at an airfield in Narimanov district on Aug. 23 in the second incident involving a Russian MiG-29 jet in less than a week.
The fighter was engulfed in flames during scheduled repair work and burned to the ground. There are no reports of victims, reported the Baza channel on Telegram. There is no official statement 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 died in the accident. The adverse climate that developed due to the proximity of the Caspian Sea and the mountains of Dagestan was initially blamed for the accident. An investigative court was ordered.
This is the fourth accident involving Russian military aircraft in the past 15 days.
Previously, a BE-200 crashed killing three crew members during a firefighting mission in Turkey. An IL-112V prototype crashed near Moscow after its right engine caught fire in preparation for the ARMY-2021 event, in which two pilots and an engineer lost their lives.
Although the reasons for these accidents are under investigation, several theories are discussed in the Russian media, many of them blaming air safety procedures.
According to an expert cited by the publication Lenta.ru, the cause of the accident was due to the actions of unskilled employees.
“The MiG-29 fighter has been around since the early 1980s, that is, for 40 years, its most advanced modifications have been constantly produced. So the problem here is not with the aircraft, but with technical support, with repair systems. Probably, in this case, we are talking about the repairs being carried out by unqualified employees and that they did not comply with the fire safety rules”, stressed the specialist.
Test pilots in Russia say that there is currently no high-quality pilot training system in Russia and no system for passing on knowledge and experience between pilots. Command and control personnel do not want to take responsibility for training because they are afraid of losing their jobs.
The recent accidents came as Russia is negotiating a contract to sell 18 MiG-29 jets to India and is promoting its upgrade, the MiG-35, in foreign markets.