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Russian pilot intercepted by Polish jet was uninformed of temporary closed zone — official

August 01, 20:56 UTC+3 WARSAW
A Polish prosecutor has declined to comment on the affair of the Russian air pilot whose light plane was intercepted by Polish F-16 fighters and handed over to police
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WARSAW, August 1 /TASS/. The pilot of a Russian light plane, who was intercepted by Polish F-16 fighter jets in the skies over Poland on July 29 and handed over to police of the city of Radom, was unaware that some parts of Polish airspace were temporary closed to air traffic, Yelena Klimovich, a member of the Russian aerobatics team, told TASS on Monday.

The Russian team has arrived in Radom for the world aerobatics championships due to open on August 5.

"The pilot was flying from Prague, where he had trained for the competitions, to Poland. He flew over a zone, which does not require mandatory contacts with the Earth and air traffic controllers. The airport of departure did not inform him about a temporary closed zone and he touched by accident," Klimovich explained.

According to her, the Polish F-16 escorted the pilot to the airport of destination. "Police questioned the pilot upon the arrival and released him after examining the plane and its instruments. He is already training for the competitions," Klimovich said.

A Polish prosecutor has declined to comment on the affair of the Russian air pilot whose light plane was intercepted by Polish F-16 fighters and handed over to the police of the city of Radom last weekend.

"We will make no comment on the affair, at least until tomorrow. Some coordination is in progress," the prosecutor of the Radom District Prosecutor’s Office Angieszka Dusik told TASS. Earlier, the Radom police force advised TASS to put questions to the prosecutor’s office.

Poland on July 24 - August 1 imposed restrictions on all flights by light planes for the period of World Youth Days attended by the Pope. All entertainment and training flights were prohibited inside an area of 100 kilometers around Krakow. The ban applied to drones, too. The one who uses them in violation of the introduced restrictions may face a prison term of up to five years.

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