August 30, 2009 / 1:47 PM / 10 years ago

Two Belarussian pilots killed at Polish air show

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RADOM, Poland, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Two Belarussian Air Force pilots were killed on Sunday when their SU-27 fighter plane crashed during an aerial acrobatics display at an air show in central Poland, police said.

"The two pilots did not manage to catapult to safety and were killed in the crash but there were no other casualties," police spokeswoman Agnieszka Humelusz in Radom, a city about 100 km (62 miles) south of Warsaw, told Reuters.

Witness Leszek Kopec told Reuters by telephone: "The SU-27 crashed far beyond the spectator area minutes after begining its aerial performance."

Poland’s news channels showed the large, heavy plane making three aerial revolutions and then levelling off as if about to land. It then disappeared from sight beyond a line of trees and exploded, sending up billows of thick, black smoke.

"The plane crashed about 100 metres (yards) from buildings in the village of Naleczyn on the outskirts of Radom," TVN24 said.

Two pilots from Poland’s Zelazny Aerial Acrobatics Group were killed at the 2007 Radom show when their planes collided in midair during a performance.

(Reporting and writing by Rob Strybel; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)



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