Privately Owned MiG-23 Crashes During Airshow In Michigan

MiG-23 crash
The moment the two crew members eject from the MiG-23. (Screenshot from Marsha Bogardus tweet)

The MiG-23 was taking part in “Thunder over Michigan” airshow at Willow Run Airport.

Two pilots ejected from a privately owned two-seat MiG-23UB Flogger, registration N23UB/1038107, taking part in the Thunder Over Michigan airshow at Willow Run Airport, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 16.15LT on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023.

The pilots ejected and landed in Belleville Lake according to the media reports, while the jet crashed near the Waverly on the Lake Apartments in Belleville.

“The pilot and backseater successfully ejected from the aircraft before the crash,” Wayne County Airport Authority stated. “While it did not appear they sustained any significant injuries, first responders transported the pair to a nearby hospital as a precaution.”

Smoke rises from the crash scene of the MiG-23 on August 13, 2023, Sunday at Thunder Over Michigan. This photo was taken from the photo pit at the northern edge of the airshow spectator area. (Photo: Tom Demerly)

Videos circulating on social media show the MiG-23UB on a left turn at low altitude before the two crew members eject.

The MiG-23UB, the only private Flogger in the world, was owned by former U.S. Navy pilot Dan Flier who runs a popular Instagram page providing updates on the N23UB as well as other Floggers in the process of being restored.

The pilot of the MiG-23 that crashed on August 13, 2023, Sunday at Thunder Over Michigan was Dan Filer. According to a July 25, 2022 article by Jamey Boyum on ABC7 KLTV, story, Boyum is a United Airlines pilot and former U.S. Navy A-6 Intruder pilot with 200 carrier landings and forty-seven missions during the Gulf War (Image credit: Tom Demerly)
The backseat crew member of the MiG-23 that crashed on August 13, 2023, Sunday at Thunder Over Michigan was Mark Ruff. (Photo: Tom Demerly)

The stricken aircraft had been one of the highlights of the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo at Lakeland, Florida, in April, and, more recently, the EAA’s AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Photo from the flight demonstration of the MiG-23 that crashed on August 13, 2023, Sunday at Thunder Over Michigan. (Photo: Tom Demerly)



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.