MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Outdated infrastructure may be the reason of growing number of accidents with military aircraft, test pilot, Hero of the Russian Federation Magomed Tolboev told TASS on Tuesday.
On Monday, a Su-24M bomber crashed in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk during take-off for a training flight, killing both pilots. Last week, a MiG-29 fighter jet crashed in southern Russia but both pilots ejected.
"If you compare the Soviet times and modern Russia, you would see that there were no less crashes in the USSR. However, there were more flights as well. Of course, now the statistics of accidents raises concerns. The main reason [of crashes] is outdated infrastructure, planes from the 1970s, they are 30 and sometimes even 40 years old," Tolboev said. However, international statistics shows that the number of accidents usually grows along with the number of conducted flights, he reminded.
"Take-off is the hardest part of the flight. A jet uses its afterburners when taking off, and engines are the most dangerous. If fires breaks out there, it leads to an explosion in an instant," the test pilot noted. He also suggested that the plane could have crashed because Su-24 pilots forgot to release flaps. "Pilots could have taken off, forgetting about releasing flaps. In this case, the plane goes down right after taking off," he added.
According to reports, Russian Armed Forces lost 4 planes and 3 people in accidents since the start of 2015, excluding last week’s and yesterday’s crashes.