The strange accident of the MiG-23

04 July, 1989.

From the Soviet airbase near Kolobzreg at the seashore of the Baltic Sea in Poland a MiG-23 took off for a training flight. After the take off the pilot, Colonel Skurigin realised that the afterburner of his plane stopped and the power of the engine begun to fall. The altitude at this time was about 130-150 m and the pilot believed that the descending aircraft is unable to fly any longer. Without turning the engine off the pilot ejected and landed safely with his parachute. To the great astonishment of the ground crew the position of the plane fixed and it flew away to the West. The autopilot kept the last direction of the plane. The aircraft was not armed but the ammunition for the 23 mm machine gun was onboard. The phantom plane left the airspace of the former East Germany and violated the West German airspace where it was intercepted and escorted a pair of American F-15s. As the F-15s didn't get permission to fire they let the aircraft flew away. France also alerted its Mirage fighters being in readiness with permission to fire if the phantom plane was dangerous for French built-up areas. Eventually it was unnecessary because after some 900 km the MiG-23 ran out of fuel and crashed in the area of Kortrijk city in Belgium ( NW of Belgium ). A house was ruined due to the crash and a 18 years old young man was buried under the ruins and died.

Collected and put together by Tamas Gal; Transferred into HTML language by Kornel Straub

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