mig 29

Oleg V. Belyakov – AirTeamImages/Creative Commons

  • A drunk Ukrainian military officer destroyed 4 percent of his Air Force’s MiG-29 fleet.
  • The captain allegedly drove onto an air base and rammed a parked fighter jet.
  • The jet, which caught fire, is almost certainly a total loss.

    An alleged drunk driving accident in Ukraine has claimed one of the country’s precious few fighter jets. The accident, which involved a Volkswagen SUV and an MiG-29, resulted in the destruction of both vehicles and singlehandedly reduced the country’s fleet of MiG fighters by 4 percent.

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    The crash took place on March 10 at an air base near Vasilkov, Ukraine. Times of Israel says the Volkswagen Touran minivan struck the MiG-29 as it was being towed to a parking area. The fighter caught fire and suffered severe damage.

    The Ukrainian captain who was driving the minivan was reportedly intoxicated at the time and suffered minor injuries.


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    The MiG-29, tail number 8, was one of 24 MiG-29s operated by Ukraine’s Air Force. The country inherited the jets after the collapse of the Soviet Union, making them all at least 30 years old. Of those 24 jets, only 16 are frontline fighters; the remaining eight are used as training aircraft.

    Number 8 was apparently serving as a fighter and briefly appears in this video at the 1:52 mark.

    According to Defence Blog, where you can see a photo of Number 8 before the collision, Ukraine’s Air Force had planned to enter into an agreement last year with Israeli defense contractor Elbit to modernize 11 of the MiGs. The modernization effort was expected to cost $40 million per jet.

    It’s not clear if Number 8 was one of those $40 million jets.


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