Pilot killed in Russian MiG-29SMT crash

A Russian Air Force MiG-29SMT Fulcrum-F crashed on August 18, killing the pilot. The press service of the Southern Military District said that the aircraft came down in an open area near the Ashchuluk training ground, in the Astrakhan region, during a routine training flight.

Russian MiG-29SMT Astakan
A Russian Air Force MiG-29SMT takes off from Astrakhan in April 2019. One of the based MiG-29SMTs was lost in a fatal crash on August 18, 2021. Russian MOD

The fighter had been acting as an enemy aircraft, undertaking a simulated low-level, night-time bombing mission for the purposes of calibrating anti-aircraft systems and training other fighters. After flying over the intended target at an altitude of approximately 1,300ft, the aircraft turned and began to lose height before impacting the ground near the runway at Astrakan-Ashchuluk Air Base. The aircraft was not carrying any ammunition at the time.

The Fulcrum was assigned to the 185th TsBPiBP VVS (185th Centre for Combat Application and Combat Training for the Air Force/116th TsBPIA (116th Fighter Aviation Combat Employment Centre), which is a resident unit at the base. A commission from the High Command of the Russian Aerospace Forces was dispatched to the crash site to begin an investigation.