The pilot of a Russian MiG-29 has been killed after the fighter jet crashed near Astrakhan in the southern part of the country.
Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev said: "A pilot has been killed in a fighter crash. We are investigating this incident and, according to preliminary data, the crash was caused by air equipment failure."
The aircraft fell 30km south of Privolzhsky airport in the Astrakhan region. The ground properties were not damaged as the jet crashed at a distance from homes, officials said.
Russian Defence Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov told ITAR-TASS news agency: "A fighter of the air force combat training and tactical employment went out of control and fell 30km northeast of the city of Astrakhan in a steppe. It has caused no destruction on the ground.
"The flight supervisor gave the pilot a command to eject. However, the pilot, trying to save the aircraft, remained at the steering wheel and was killed."
The MiG-29 aircraft have been involved in several crashes in the past. Russia suspended the flights of the fighter in 2008 after two crashes that year. Only 30% of them were cleared for flying after a month.
The fighters are in use in Germany, Poland, India, Sudan, Algeria and Mongolia among others.
Image: A file photo of MiG-29 UB. Photo: courtesy of Dmitry A. Mottl.