Ukrainian MiG-29 pilots that fled Belbek Airbase at the Crimea (Krim) peninsula after Russian forces took control of their airbase are airborne again. For the first time since what’s officially called the redeployment they took off in MiG-29 fighter jets on 11 April 2014, now in the Kiev region.
Although the base of operations was not disclosed we at AIRheads↑Fly believe the tactical training was executed from Vasylkiv Airbase just southeast of the Ukrainian capital. “The flights took place under the supervision of the chief of the combat training centre and the head of the Aviation Air Command South”, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence writes. “The aim is to keep the pilots’s techniques and combat skills up.”
The familiarization training of the so-called Sevastopol Pilots team will take a month and will include flight planning for their new area of operations, aeronautical engineering and flight training itself. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence the team consists of 30 pilots, who will use 12 MiG-29s to make a minimum of 42 sorties and 32 flight hours each. Meanwhile efforts to return long-time stored MiG-29s continue.
Source: Ukrainian Ministry of Defence with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger