24 July 2018

The MiG-21 LanceR will retake its flight and reenters the Air Police service

Stefan Danila

The MiG-21 LanceR retake its flight and will reenter in the Air Police service, after a pause of more than two weeks. Retaking the flights will be probably made on Thursday, 26th of July, according to Defence and Security Monitor sources.

Image source: Mediafax

On 7th of July, almost at the end of the airshow organized at the 86 Borcea Air Base, a MiG-21 LanceR crashed during its evolution in the airdrome area. Although there were a lot of rumors regarding the pilot’s catapulting, unfortunately are not confirmed yet.

An aerial catastrophe, after more than 8 years since this type of trouble seemed to be gone. At least, this type of troubles. Less and less, more physically and morally used, but still able for the Air Police assumed mission, the MiGs remained Romania’s fundamental solution as fight planes. Why? Because the small F-16 escadrille is not functional yet. And the second, at least, it is not even identified and planned to be achieved.

After the catastrophe, there were periods of investigations, according to some procedures available in the majority of states in the world, and in some NATO states almost identical, following the same STANAG. They isolated the parameter, they conserved and then they collected all the evidences, by the designated team to execute the technical investigation, commonly with the case attorney and the criminalists.

They analyzed the chats, radars records as well as the famous “black box”, actually the recording board system, SAIMS.

They collected the pilot’s human remains, all the parts from the aircrafts and then they reconstitute it. They made the medium works, to clean the land.

During this time, the flights were stopped in the unities. Including the fight service one. The protection of our air space was made entirely, in this period, by the British detachment, from Mihail Kogalniceanu.

The aircrafts entered in a general verification program, specific to these situations, supplementary works despite the periodical ones. The pilots saw again how to solve difficult situations (special cases), aerodynamic, meteorology, and piloting technique. These are standard activities. After they receive the first informations regarding the identifying or excluding some possible cases, the program is made again, if needed.

Retaking the flight must be made in extremely secure conditions, starting with aircrafts fight verifications, first double commands, then the simple ones. Next is retaking the training, from simple to complex, so that the pilots pass the anxiety mood caused by losing a colleague.

A catastrophe that astonished those who were at the basis Open Gates, shuddered a country and mourned a family. For such catastrophes not to happen again, maybe it should be taken long and serious decisions. Not under the moments pressure emotion. But with the lucidity coming from responsible persons. Solutions would be the achievement of the needed number of planes and sufficient for the assumed missions, with a minimum accepted for the air defence, selecting and training the staff  to operate them, as well as establishing the career of the other pilots, who are not in the above category. Forget about the F-35, we do not need it and we do not afford it, F-16 helps us to enter in the same category as the states with a credible fight aviation.

Until then, the old MiG and the incredible people that fly with it and fit it, continue to do their job!