MOSCOW, September 11 (Itar-Tass) — Experts have found a flight recorder at the MiG-29 fighter crash site in the Trans-Baikal Territory. The device is in a good condition and has been passed to the Interstate Aviation Committee for deciphering, the Central Military Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
According to preliminary data, at about 23:07, local time on September 6 the commander of the 2nd Air Squadron of Military Unit No 63559 Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Hadzhiyarov embarked on a training exercise flight for fighter aircraft - “elementary flying at low altitudes.” During the exercise no additional commands were made to Lieutenant-Colonel Khadzhiyarov, he did not get in touch with the flight supervisor. The flight was performed at an altitude of 400-500 metres.
During the 4th minute of the flight the air traffic control tower recorded a flash on the ground. All attempts to establish radio contact the pilot were unsuccessful. A search and rescue team was dispatched to the incident site. The crashed MiG-29 fighter and the pilot’s body were found 2.1 kilometres from the aerodrome reference point.
The Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass earlier that the jet crashed near the Domna town, 30 kilometres southwest of the airport. The pilot ejected himself but died. There were no casualties or damage on the ground. The jet carried no weapons. A Defence Ministry commission was sent to the crash scene. The RF defence minister suspended MiG-29 flights until the end of the investigation.
Criminal proceedings were instituted over the accident under Article 351 of the RF Criminal Code – “violation of the rules of flights or preparation for them.”
“During the examination of the scene experts found one flight data recorder, which is in good technical condition. Currently, the military investigators have handed it over to specialists of the Interstate Aviation Committee for deciphering. The forensic examination of the pilot's body has been assigned and the witnesses’ questioning is underway. Samples of fuel from the crashed aircraft, as well as from the reservoir from which it refuelled have been taken for an expert examination,” the SK Central Military Investigation Department said.
It stressed that the exact causes of the fighter’s crash can be named only after the deciphering of the flight recorders, the conclusions of a number of complex expert examinations and other necessary investigative actions.