MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian Air Force crew members ejected to safety when their MiG-31 interceptor crashed on Saturday in the Far Eastern Primorye region, local authorities said.
The aircraft went down 26 kilometers from the Tsentralnaya Uglovaya airbase near Vladivostok, after taking off at 5:07 a.m. Moscow time from the Knevichy airfield.
No-one on the ground was hurt.
The Defense Ministry later said the aircraft had suffered a failure of one of its two engines before the crash. The aircraft had just been overhauled, according to one source.
The MiG-31 is the fastest aircraft in operational service in the world. The Russian Air Force’s fleet of MiG-31s is currently in the midst of an upgrade to MiG-31BM standard.
A MiG-31 of the Kazakhstan Air Force crashed in April this year, killing the pilot and injuring the navigator, the service said at that time.
Updated at 12:20 with suspected cause of crash in fourth paragraph