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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 11:33 UK

Pilot dies as Russia jets collide

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The scene soon after the crash was filmed on mobile phone

Two Russian fighter jets have collided while training for an air show near Moscow, killing one pilot and injuring at least five people on the ground.

Two pilots from the elite Russian Knights aerobatic team parachuted to safety, but a third, the group's commander, did not survive.

One woman suffered burns and at least four other people were injured as one jet struck houses near the airfield.

Initial reports say that pilot error caused the crash of the two Su-27 jets.

Air force spokesman Lt Col Vladimir Drik said the fighters collided near Zhukhovsky airfield, east of Moscow, where they were preparing for the Maks 2009 aerospace exhibition, due to start on Tuesday.

The dead pilot was named as Russian Knights' commander Igor Tkachenko, 45, a decorated air force colonel.

Earlier this year Russia grounded its entire fleet of another fighter, the Su-24, after two crashes in three days, the Associated Press news agency reported.


Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the Su-27 fleet had been grounded earlier this year instead of the Su-24 fleet.



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