Romanian MiG-21 LanceR-C crashes in Dedrad

A Forţele Aeriene Române (FAR, Romanian Air Force) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 LanceR-C fighter-interceptor crashed during a local training mission on April 20.

The aircraft involved in the incident was serial 5917 (c/n 96005910), which is assigned to the Escadrila 711 Aviație Luptă (711th Combat Aviation Squadron) at Baza 71 Aeriana (71st Air Base) in Câmpia Turzii, located in Romania’s Cluj County.

MiG-21 LanceR-C [Alan Warnes]
The Romanian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 LanceR-C fighter-interceptor involved in the April 20 crash was serial 5917 (c/n 96005910), pictured here on a previous occasion. Alan Warnes

After departing the base for a local training sortie, the LanceR-C crashed at approximately 1430hrs (local time) in an uninhabited area of Dedrad in Mures County, located roughly 40 miles (65km) northeast of its home base.

The pilot, Lt Cmdr Andrei Criste, ejected from the aircraft safely and was initially taken to Târgu Mureş County Emergency Clinical Hospital for evaluation by a Serviciul Mobil de Urgență, Reanimare și Descarcerare (SMURD, Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication) EC135 helicopter.

Shortly after, the pilot was transferred to the Central Military Emergency University Hospital in Bucharest via an FAR-operated Lockheed C-130B/H Hercules and an ambulance for specialist treatment. It is said that he remains to be in a stable condition.

AirForces Intelligence data states that, as of April 21, 2021, the FAR maintains a fleet of 17 single-seat LanceR-Cs and eight two-seat MiG-21 LanceR-B fighters. These aircraft are operated by the 711th Combat Aviation Squadron, along with the Escadrila 861 Aviație Luptă (861st Combat Aviation Squadron) at Baza 86 Aeriana (86th Air Base) in Borcea, Călărași County.