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Gepard

4 MiG-31 run out of fuel

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On last Sunday 4 russian MiG-31 fighter planes run out of fuel during a routine patrol mission. So they were forced to land on the civil airport of Ussinsk in Sibiria.

The intention was to refuel the fighters at ground. But the procedures needed to much time, so that the engines were to cold for restart.

Now the planes are sitting on the icy airfield and waiting for the ground crews and their starting equippment.

MiG-31.thumb.jpg.6f39d1f2e839b8dd5abe4b78bd73b3b6.jpg

 

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I am not sure about the exact model of the MiG-31s that are involved in the incident. I think a safe guess would be a variant of at least having MiG-31BM-equivalent standards. If that's the case I don't understand why the entire flight of 4 MiGs that EACH had used up a typical mission load of internal fuel  of 13,700 litres of jet fuel without anyone noticing sth were wrong...

31BM has some reasonably good avionics; Even the 1st Gen planes have fuel indications like the Mirage F1s, 2000s. tiles for empty tanks would light up.

Note MiG-29 like fuel gauge

MiG-31BM.thumb.jpg.f4fd9ed4b3699548a7804c7336aef9fc.jpg

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Happens. Probably they got some additional mission when in air and have too few fuel to return home base .

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Historically, the USSR didn't like to issue any more fuel than required to execute the mission to prevent defections. Perhaps Russia still issues minimal fuel and sometimes they inadvertently use more than planned?

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9 hours ago, streakeagle said:

Historically, the USSR didn't like to issue any more fuel than required to execute the mission to prevent defections. Perhaps Russia still issues minimal fuel and sometimes they inadvertently use more than planned?

This is  an urban myth.

Westberlin with 3 allied airfields was inside east german airspace. From a soviet or east german airfield to West Berlin it was a very short distance. It was impossible to fill up the plane fueltanks with so less fuel, that is was unable to reach West Berlin. From soviet airfields like Brandis or Köthen it were less than 150 km (less than 100 miles) to West Berlins Gatow airbase.

And by the way, do you remember the crash of a soviet MiG-23ML in Belgium 1989? The plane came from the soviet base at Kolobreg (Kolberg) in Poland. And it had fuel enough to fly to Belgium.

But end of OT.

As far as i have understood the russian media correctly, the flight leader of the MiG-31 formation decided to extend the mission. He streched it to the maximum limits and thought, that the fuel status would be enough for this extra tour. A little miscalculation and the flight needed an emergency airstrip. Ussinsk was the closest airfield and this was used.

Edited by Gepard
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Frankly, the entire MiG-31 force has one big whopping flaw....

THE TRAINING OF THE AIRCREW IS INSUFFICIENT.

The Russians ought to be training hard in simulators first and how to fly as a section, then and only then flying as a section.  Didn't these guys learn the importance of keeping a healthy fuel reserve?  Didn't the Russian Air Force learn the importance - and dramatic cost-savings - of good flight simulation?

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