Belarusian Yak-130 crashes in Baranovichi

A Yakovlev Yak-130 belonging to the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Forces crashed near a residential area in Baranovichi on May 19, killing both pilots.

The advanced jet trainer/light combat aircraft – serial unknown – was destroyed on impact when it crashed in a grass field near residential housing on Rosa Luxembourg Street, Baranovichi. The incident occurred in the afternoon, shortly after the Yak-130 had taken off from the nearby 61st Fighter Aviation Base, which is also located in Baranovichi.

Belarus Yak-130 crash [Belarus MOD]
The wreckage of a Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer/light combat aircraft belonging to the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Forces, following its crash in Baranovichi on May 19, 2021. Belarus MOD

Despite ejecting at the last minute – after ensuring the aircraft had been directed away from buildings – both pilots were killed in the crash. The Belarus Ministry of Defence (MOD) has cited the cause of the crash as a technical malfunction.

The Yak-130 involved in the incident was from the 116th Attack Aviation Base (116th Shab) at Lida, located in Belarus’ Grodno region. The two crew members who lost their lives have been identified by the Belarus MOD as the commander of the training and combat squadron at the 116th Shab, Maj Andrey Vladimirovich Nichiporchik, along with the pilot, Lt Nikita Borisovich Kukanenko.

Belarus has operated the Yak-130 Mitten since April 2015. AirForces Intelligence data confirms that 12 examples of the advanced jet trainer/light combat aircraft were delivered to the air arm. Following this recent loss, just 11 Yak-130s remain in operational service with the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Forces.