Polish Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum Jets Return To Flight

Polish Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrums back in the air.

On Nov. 5, 2018, at 2:36PM, MiG-29UBM ’28’ of the Polish Air Force took off for a mission which marked the end the suspension of the Polish Fulcrum operations. The operations of the jets were suspended due to the crash on Jul. 6. 2018, that turned out to be fatal for the pilot, Lt. Krzysztof Sobański (posthumously promoted to the rank of a Captain) belonging to the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork.

Only one jet got back to flying after practical implementation of the recommendations made by the Polish military aircraft accident investigation authority, the KBWLLP body (Komisja Badania Wypadków Lotniczych Lotnictwa Państwowego – Commission For Aircraft Accidents Investigation in State Aviation).

The KBWLLP has not disclosed its findings to the public. The timeline related to suspension involves two crashes, one that happened on Dec. 17. 2017 and the other one, fatal, mentioned above. Some rumors suggest that one of the main issues that led to the death of the pilot relates to the ejection seat, while the aircraft also had problems with its fuel system.

Our photo-correspondent, Wojciech Mazurkiewicz, was at the Minsk Mazowiecki Airbase on Nov. 5., providing us with imagery related to the MiG’s return to the sky.

MiG-29UBM ’28’ of the Polish Air Force took returning from its first mission after the stand down on Nov. 5. (Image credit: Wojciech Mazurkiewicz).

Notably, the Polish Air Force is looking forward to replace the Fulcrums and the Fitters, with the latter type operated by the 21st Tactical Air Base in Świdwin, through the Harpia program. The potential replacements include designs such as Gripen, F-16V, or F-35.

Image credit: Wojciech Mazurkiewicz

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.