Refurbished Iranian fighter jet crashes during test, rescue effort underway for pilot
A rescue mission is underway for at least one pilot who was in a recently overhauled Iranian fighter jet when it crashed during a test flight near the country’s northern border Wednesday, according to Iran’s state television.
The Russian-made MiG-29 went down in the mountainous Sabalan region near the Azerbaijan border after taking off from the Tabriz air base in northwestern Iran, a report said.
State media said the crash occurred near a dormant volcano, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The pilot was said to have contacted his base following the crash. Local agencies had earlier reported that the plane had two pilots who were both killed, according to Reuters.
While rescue teams and three helicopters were immediately dispatched, efforts were hampered by bad weather and snow-covered terrain, according to reports.
An investigation was underway into the cause of the crash.
Iran’s air force has an assortment of American-made military aircraft purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also has Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. Decades of Western sanctions have made it hard for Iran to maintain its aging fleet.
Earlier this week, reports said an advanced Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet built to compete with top American stealth fighters crashed in Russia and the pilot bailed out safely.
The crash happened during a test flight just days before the Russian military was set to receive its first serial-produced Su-57.
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