Tag Archives: Malbork

Polish Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum Crashes Killing Pilot

A Polish Fulcrum crashed last night. Pilot found dead.

On Jul. 6, a Polish MiG-29 (reportedly: airframe bort no. 4103) has crashed in the village of Sakówko (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship). The cause of the crash is unknown. The pilot ejected but did not survive. According to the Polish MoD the pilot was declared dead at 2.30 AM. The disaster happened at 1.57 AM. The Fulcrum belonged to the 22nd Airbase in Malbork.

According to the foreign media quoted by a former Polish jet pilot, Michał Fiszer, in his interview for the TVN24 outlet, the pilot belonged to the demo team showcasing the Fulcrums on air shows. The MoD release suggests that the late pilot was quite an experienced aviator, with 800 hours logged in the air and 500 of those were logged on the Fulcrum. The wreckage has been found around 500 meters from the residential buildings, while the body of the pilot was 200 meters from the wreck.

The circumstances are being investigated now by the Polish Committee for Investigation of National Aviation Accidents (Polish: Komisja Badania Wypadków Lotniczych Lotnictwa Państwowego; KBWLLP), which is the aircraft accident investigation agency of Poland regarding state and military aircraft. It is distinct from the State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation, which investigates civil aviation accidents. The MoD asked the journalists not to comment and speculate on the disaster, until an official report is issued.

Notably, this is the second crash of a Polish Fulcrum in little more than 6 months. Last one happened occurred to the other Fulcrum base in Minsk Mazowiecki. In that case, however, according to ‘off the record’ sources, the pilot, who did not eject and landed the jet in the woods – survived.

Top image: composite photo showing, on the left, the wreckage of a Polish Air Force MiG-29 jet that crashed in the fields in the country’s north during a night training flight, near the town of Paslek, in Poland (credit: AP Photo/TVN24) and a Fulcrum at Radom Air Show last year (credit: Siminski).

French Rafale jets deploy to Poland (without the markings of the unit which fought alongside Soviets in WWII)

Four French Air Force Rafales have deployed to Poland. The aircraft don’t sport the traditional tail markings and the reason may be their unit fough alongside the Soviets in WWII.

At 09.40 GMT, four French Air Force Rafale “omnirole” jets landed at Malbork airbase in Poland, where they have been deployed to reinforce NATO and its allies presence around Ukraine.

The combat planes belong to two squadrons of the Armée de l’Air: the EC 1/7 “Provence”, based at Saint Dizier and the EC 2/30 “Normandie-Niémen” from Mont-de-Marsan.

The French planes had their unit markings removed from their tails, in what seems to be a symbolic act rather than a specific operational requirement, considering that squadron badges were not erased in previous combat operations (for instance Libya Air War in 2011).

The “Normandie-Niémen” was the only French Air Force unit (a Regiment) to fight alongside the Soviets until the end of the war in Europe, during WWII; considered the growing tension with Russia following the invasion and annexation of Crimea, most probably, Paris did not want to deploy aircraft whose markings could somehow recall a glorious past of joint operations with Moscow’s air armada.

A bit of Psyops?

Rafale Poland

Image credit: French MoD /EMA


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First Polish Avionics-Modernized MiG-29 makes maiden flight

On Mar. 15 the first Polish MiG-29 to have undergone avionics upgrade in the  Military Aviation Service Facility no. 2 (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze nr 2) in Bydgoszcz took-off on its maiden flight. The upgrade plan aims at prolonging the combat potential of ex-Soviet made aircraft still being in service within the Polish Air Force.

Polish Mig-29

Image Credit: Jacek Borzyszkowski

The planes being upgraded are from the 23rd Tactical Air Force Base in Minsk Mazowiecki.

The test flying programme is carried out by three pilots from Minsk and Malbork bases. The programme schedule includes using live armament (mainly gun) on the 21st Central Aviation Range (21. Centralny Poligon Lotniczy) in Nadarzyce.

All of the MiGs undergoing modernization are said to receive the new avionics by the end of next year.

The scope of modernization includes changing the analog avionics to digital ones, including new mission planning computer and data bus, to which additional devices may be connected.

Furthermore, the mechanical gyro is replaced with a laser system. Digital map and MFD (Multi-Function Display) are features of the programme.

MiGs are said to remain in service till 2028-2030. The data bus will allow for further changes in the avionics if needed.

MiG bureau also took part in the programme extending the service life for another 20 years (the MiGs in Polish Air Force are already 20 years old).

The exploitation programme has been changed – the MiGs do not have to undergo general repairs each 800 hours they spend in the air, but they will be used according to their technical status.

The Polish MiGs have already undergone modernization couple of years earlier, aim of which was to adapt the cockpit to NATO standards (English language indicators and gauges).

Worth noting: the Polish MiGs recently received new paint-job with portraits of the aviators that took part in Battle of Britain. The portraits are located on the vertical stabilizers.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com


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