Падна хрватски МиГ-21УМД, пилотите се ОК

Факти, причини и последици од авионските несреќи.
Facts, reasons and outcomes from aircrash investigations.
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IgorMKD
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Падна хрватски МиГ-21УМД, пилотите се ОК

Post by IgorMKD »

Croatian MiG-21UMD crashes, pilots ejected and survived with injuries

A Croatian Air Force (Hrvatsko Ratno Zrakoplovstvo, HRZ) MiG-21UMD jet trainer (tactical identification number 164, c/n 516969001) crashed in the early afternoon of 6 December while executing a training flight launched from the 91st Air Force Base in Pleso, near Zagreb.

The 2014-overhauled plane of the HRZ's, Pleso-based Fighter Squadron (Eskadrila Borbenih Aviona, EBA) was on a training mission with four other MiG-21s when it fell down in an uninhibited forest area near Slatina in the Virovitica-Podravina County, some 130 km east of Zagreb. Its crew made of Col. Zvonimir Milatović and Maj. Ivan Lukan successfully ejected sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.

Croatian media immediately reported engine flameout as the suspected reason for the crash, something that Croatian defence ministry confirmed later on the same day when it informed on a press conference that the pilots decided to eject at 13:48 hours after four minutes earlier having declared emergency due to engine problems.

The accident happened while the aircraft was accumulating the first 20 hours after passing the last scheduled 200 hours inspection. The history of the ill-fated plane shows that it arrived Croatia after been acquired second-hand from Poland. It has been overhauled and modernized in Romania in 2003 before being sent to Ukraine in 2013 for its last general overhaul that was completed in the following year.

"The accident would not result with grounding of the entire MiG-21 fleet," HRZ Chief Brigadier General Michael Križanec said on a press conference held in Zagreb on the day of the crash suggesting that single-seat MiG-21bis-D jets will remain operational including the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) pair of such aircraft that is constantly kept on high state of readiness at Pleso/Zagreb airport with sole role to protect the nation's air space at all times.

Croatia and Romania are the sole remaining operators of MiG-21 in Europe and within NATO. While Romania is scheduled to retire its Elbit-modernised MiG-21 LanceR jets on 15 May 2023, Croatia will most likely keep in active service small number of still serviceable but obsolete Soviet-era MiG-21s until the first of 12 ex-French Air Force Dassault Rafale F3R multirole jets begin arriving to Croatia and taking over the air police mission in 2024.
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