The Polish Air Force is investigating an incident in which one MiG-29 fighter jet opened fire from its 30-mm gun on another fighter aircraft during a training exercise in Nadazice in the Greater Poland Voivodeship on May 14th.
The Defense Ministry confirmed the incident.
“The State Commission for the Investigation of Aviation Accidents is investigating an aviation incident related to the damage to the hull of a MiG-29 22.BLT [Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego] fighter during an exercise at the training ground in Nadazice.”
However, the Ministry refused to respond to further questions.
The crew of the fighter jet was not injured, but the aircraft itself was damaged and needs to be repaired.
“We don’t know what the weather and conditions were, but there was definitely a problem with the training of the crews and their compliance with safety rules,” says General Tomasz Drevniak, a former Air Force inspector.
Odnosząc się do artykułu portalu @onetpl pt. Polski MiG-29 ostrzelał polskiego MiG-a podczas ćwiczeń, informujemy, że w połowie maja br. na poligonie w Nadarzycach w trakcie lotu szkoleniowego NIE DOSZŁO do ostrzelania samolotu MiG-29.
— Dowództwo Generalne (@DGeneralneRSZ) June 8, 2021
The terrible technical condition of the MiG-29 flying in the Polish air force is increasingly threatening the lives of the pilots.
In March 2019, four minutes after take-off from the 23rd Tactical Air Base in Mińsk Mazowiecki, the MiG-29 pilot heard a roar and lost control of the machine. He catapulted over the forest near Węgrów. The machine was completely destroyed. Unofficially, Polish media claimed that the cause of the accident was mechanical wear of the engine.
After that accident, post-Soviet fighters were grounded for eight months. After the flights resumed, the pilots told us that the planes were in such a bad condition that it was only a matter of time before the next failure. They claimed that they were struggling, among others, by with malfunctions of the cabins, delamination of the fairings and cracking elements of the undercarriage.
In December 2019, only a month after the resumption of flights, aMiG-29 fighter pilot was returning to the base in emergency due to a broken generator.
In an interview with Onet, the former air force inspector, Gen. Tomasz Drewniak called the generator failure “one of the worst cases that can happen to a pilot”:
“If the generator does land, the pilot simply has no energy in the machine. The current from the battery is enough for him for 5-10 minutes, and then everything turns off. In such cases, the instruction clearly states: “Immediately stop the task and land at the nearest airport.” Landing without electricity is possible, but extremely difficult,” he said.
Another dangerous incident occurred in January 2020. A MiG-29 from the 22nd Tactical Aviation Base in Malbork lost its braking parachute during its flight over civilian areas. A 50 cm long tube, weighing approximately 20 kg, is used to brake the machine after landing.
The terrible condition of the machines, as well as the failure to report many incidents for fear of another grounding of fighters, are the main reasons why pilots are retiring early or changing qualifications to civil aircraft.
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