Hungarian military craft catches fire in midair, pilot hospitalized with burns

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-6-26 14:18:11

A Hungarian air force Yak-52 training aircraft caught fire in midair on Thursday, seriously burning the pilot as he landed the flaming plane, Hungarian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Tibor Benko told a news conference here.The pilot traveling in the front half of the two-seater plane managed to land safely at Szolnok Air Base but suffered serious burns and was hospitalized in the burn unit of a Hungarian Armed Forces hospital. The rear-seat pilot was unharmed.

Benko said the plane had been aloft for roughly an hour on a routine training flight when flames began spurting out of the engine. The pilot opted for an emergency landing and both men safely left the aircraft. Firefighters then extinguished the blaze.

The Russian-made Yak-52 they were flying had been manufactured in 1994 and underwent safety checks every 200 hours of flying time. This particular plane had flown 97 hours since its last checkup. The incident is under investigation.

This was the third serious incident in a little over a month involving Hungarian military aircraft. A JAS-39D Gripen fighter jet overshot the runway during a military exercise in the Czech Republic on May 19 forcing both pilots to eject. Neither was hurt.

On June 10, a JAS-39C Gripen fighter plane was forced to make a belly landing at an air base in Hungary in which the pilot suffered spinal injuries.

Investigations are ongoing.

Posted in: Europe

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