In a bizarre incident, a MiG-29 fighter jet of the Ukrainian Air Force was badly damaged after it was hit by a car. The incident happened at the Vasylkiv Air Base in central Ukraine, where a drunken Ukrainian Air Force officer crashed his Volkswagen Touran SUV with the fighter jet, badly damaging both the vehicles. The plane has been damaged completely, as per reports.
The accident took place on 10th March at the Vasylkiv Air Base near Kiev, which is home to both the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade and Air Command Central. The jet belonged to the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade. The MiG-29 was being towed away to a parking area, when the 47-year-old officer smashed the nozzle of the right-side engine at the rear end of the jet with his SUV under the influence of alcohol. This caused a fire, although it was localised and was contained quickly. But this totally damaged the engine and other components of the jet.
Photographs of the incident have emerged on social media, which show that both the jet and the car were significantly damaged. The fighter jet’s right engine exhaust nozzle, as well as the tail fin and rear stabilizer on that side of the aircraft, look to have sustained significant damage in the photographs. It is not known whether the jet will repaired for return to service, as unconfirmed reports suggest that the jet has been written off as a total loss. The front of the car has been smashed, its airbag was deployed, and the driver received injuries on his chest and face. He is being treated for his injuries, and is said to be out of danger. The Volkswagen Touran was the personal vehicle of the drunken officer.
Soon after the accident, the Ukraine’s Air Command Centre posted a statement on its Facebook page, informing that a car smashed a fighter jet when it was being towed to the parking lot. They informed that law enforcement officers were working at the scene, and an investigation into the incident has been started to find out the reasons behind the incident.
At present Ukraine has 35 MiG 35 jets, apart from Sukhoi Su-24, Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets, all of them inherited from former Soviet Union.