Trainer aircraft crashes in south Russia, second this week

MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti) - A light plane crashed in southern Russia on Friday, an Air Force spokesman said.

Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, aide to the Air Force commander, said that during a routine flight in the Krasnodar Region, the L-39 flight trainer suffered engine failure. The pilot ejected over safe terrain after two unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine.

There have been no reports of any casualties or damage.

This is the second crash this week involving a two-seater. On Monday an L-39 crash landed in the Volgograd Region in the south leaving the pilot dead and the trainee pilot injured.

Following the latest incident, the L-39 fleet has been grounded and a probe launched.

In September 2006, another L-39 crashed in the Krasnodar Region, killing the pilot, while the trainee pilot managed to eject.

The Czech-made L-39 Albatross is designed for initial and advanced training. It was a standard jet trainer for the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries.

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