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Burma's military blames technical fault for crash of fighter jet on training flight

A fighter jet crashed and burned in Burma's Magway region due to what is being described as a technical fault in training maneuvers on Thursday, Feb. 29.

A Burma fighter jet crashed and burned on Thursday in the countryside of the central Magway region due to what was described as a technical fault during training maneuvers, state television MRTV reported.

The crash took place shortly after noon and the pilot was reported to have ejected from the plane and to have been safely rescued. The TV report mentioned only one pilot, but training missions in Burma likely use MiG-29UB two-seat planes.


Burma's military has lost at least four helicopters and three jet fighters since it seized power in February 2021 from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering a nonviolent opposition that was met with deadly force.

The crisis has led to the growth of armed resistance and embroiled the country in a civil war. The military, which has launched offensives in various parts of the country, makes heavy use of air power, which cannot be effectively challenged by the resistance.

Airstrikes have driven many thousands of people from their homes and caused an unknown number of civilian casualties. Resistance forces have several times claimed to have downed military aircraft but their claims could not be confirmed.

The region of Magway where the crash took place, about 140 miles southwest of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, is a stronghold of the resistance but there was no fighting in the area at the time of the crash.

A resident from the village of Kyo Wun, who also asked not to be named to avoid arrest by the military, told The Associated Press the plane went down in a field in the western part of the village.

He said two pilots appeared to have ejected safely with parachutes. He added that security forces tried to inspect the villagers’ mobile phones for any possible photos of the wreckage that appeared online.

A leading member of the local resistance People’s Defense Force, who asked to be identified by his nom de guerre "A Nyar Thar" for fear of arrest, told the AP that two pilots who ejected were quickly picked up by a military helicopter.

He identified the downed plane as a MiG-29, though the state TV report did not specify the model.

Independent online media, including Myanmar Now and Khit Thit, published photos of the alleged plane's burnt and scattered wreckage.


Most combat aircraft in Myanmar’s military come from China or Russia, which also supply other armaments. Many Western nations maintain an arms embargo, in addition to other sanctions on the ruling military, and are making efforts to block the supply of aviation fuel to hinder attacks by the planes.

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