A MiG-29 fighter jet crashed near Nitra

The training flights of MiG-29s have been stopped for now.

Defence Minister Peter GajdošDefence Minister Peter Gajdoš (Source: TASR)

A MiG-29 fighter jet crashed near the village of Nové Sady (Nitra Region) on September 28 at around 21:30.

The police think the accident could have been caused by a lack of fuel, but the exact cause is under investigation, the TASR newswire reported.

The pilot catapulted himself and was transported to the Nitra hospital. His life is not in danger, TASR wrote.

No victims or damages

Two fighter jets took off at around 18:10 for a training flight. While one jet landed safely at the Sliač airport at 19:12, the other one was navigated to the airport in Bratislava due to worsening weather conditions, Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (SNS) reported.

After the second jet crashed, it started burning. Twelve firefighters arrived on the scene.

Gajdoš appreciated the pilot’s professionalism in a critical situation since before he catapulted himself, he directed the plane to an uninhabited area where no victims or damages on someone’s property were claimed.

The first class pilot belongs among the most experienced. He has nearly 1,200 flight hours on all types of planes under his belt. Nearly 630 flight hours have been spent on this specific type of MiG-29 fighter jet, said Miroslav Lorinc, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, as reported by TASR.

PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) expressed relief that the fighter jet fell in the uninhabited area. He also thanked the rescue forces for their quick and professional response, TASR wrote.

Training flights stopped

All training flights of MiG-29 jets have been stopped for now. The NATINAMDS emergency system is still fully operational, though, said Defence Ministry spokesperson Danka Capáková.

The department distanced itself from any preliminary and unverified information about the potential causes of the accident, she added.

“We won’t speculate about the cause; we will wait for the outcome of the investigation,” said Gajdoš, as quoted by TASR. The case is being investigated by the regional police in Nitra and supervised by the prosecutor. “I hope that the voices casting doubt on the need to purchase new F-16 fighter jets will be silenced for a while. The safety of our soldiers is a priority for me.”

The damages caused by the crash will be fully compensated by the Defence Ministry.

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