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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pilot killed in south Russian combat trainer aircraft crash

RIA Novosti

18/03/2009 11:14 KRASNODAR, March 18 (RIA Novosti) - The pilot of a light L-39 combat trainer was killed when his aircraft crashed in the Krasnodar Territory of southern Russia, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.

The aircraft crashed near the Kushchevskoye airfield on Tuesday evening while on a training flight.

"The pilot-instructor died," Lt.-Col. Vladimir Drik said. "There are no victims or damage at the crash site."

A commission with the Air Force's flight safety service has been set up to investigate the crash.

Following the incident, Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin ordered the temporary suspension of all L-39 flights.

The Czech-made L-39 Albatross is designed for initial and advanced training of cadets at military flight schools. It was a standard jet trainer for the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries.

In February last year, two L-39 crashes occurred in the Krasnodar and Volgograd regions of southern Russia.

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