Russian aerobatic planes collide, one dead

A pilot was killed and at least one civilian was injured when two jet fighters from an elite Russian aerobatic group crashed while training outside Moscow.

Source: Reuters
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The two Su-27 jets plunged into a compound of vacation homes after colliding in the air near the town of Zhukovsky during a training flight for the Russian Knights aerobatic team ahead of the MAKS aerospace fair, which starts Tuesday.

Russia is seeking to turn MAKS, which starts next week at Zhukovsky and attracts tens of thousands of spectators, into a leading international aviation and space show and a venue for major deals to be done.

An aide to Russia's air force commander initially said the pilots had ejected safely, but later told Interfax news agency that one had died.

Media said the planes had set three houses on fire in the village of Belozerikha.

Interfax quoted a local police source as saying one woman sustained burns and was rushed to hospital. RIA news agency said five residents were injured.

Officials were not available for confirmation.

Separately, a civilian trainee pilot and an instructor died when their small Yak-52 turboprop trainer crashed in the Kaluga region of central Russia, local agencies reported.

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