Belarusian jet crashes at Polish air show, 2 dead

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 23:38

Warsaw: A Belarusian fighter jet crashed
o Sunday during an air show in central Poland, killing both
pilots on board the two-seater plane, officials said.

The Su-27 jet went down while performing maneuvers at a
festival in Radom, 105 kilometers south of Warsaw.

Footage broadcast on state television in Poland showed
the plane turning in the air, then dropping behind trees. A
giant cloud of black smoke appeared on the horizon. The Su-27
was not near the tarmac or crowds attending the air show when
it crashed.

The two Belarusian pilots were killed, the air show`s
organizers said in a statement. A joint Polish-Belarusian
panel of experts was investigating the cause.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said the crash was likely
caused by birds becoming entangled in an engine.

When the plane began to lose altitude during a stunt
flight, the pilots "did not eject and steered the plane away
from the town, avoiding graver consequences at the cost of
their lives," ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Remenchuk said.

He identified the pilots as Col. Alexander Morfitsky and
Col Alexander Zhuravlevich. He said Morfitsky was deputy
commander of an air force unit in western Belarus, and
Zhuravlevich was deputy commander of a fighter base.

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First Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 23:38

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