by WorldTribune Staff, November 15, 2016
A Russian MiG-29 crashed on Nov. 14 while apparently attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed a technical failure for the crash. The pilot, who was the only one in the jet, ejected safely and was picked up by a rescue team, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry’s statement did not specify whether the airplane had crashed on the carrier or into the sea.
The defense ministry said the MiG-29 was taking part in training flights, stressing that flights were still going ahead from the aircraft carrier despite the incident.
“The flights of aircraft from the carrier are continuing in accordance with the set tasks,” the ministry said.
Sergei Artamonov, the carrier’s commander, said in an interview broadcast Nov. 12 on Rossiya-1 television that planes had been taking off from the ship’s deck “practically every day for the last four days” to survey the area.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, Moscow’s only aircraft carrier, has been stationed off the Syrian coast since last week. The vessel has had a history of problems and its technology is so obsolete, analysts say, that planes are forced to take off without a full load of fuel and weapons.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 14 discussed the situation in Syria in their first telephone conversation.
The two leaders agreed to work together in the struggle against international terrorism and extremism, according to a statement published by the Kremlin.