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Serbian MiG-29 jet crashes, kills pilot

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 7 (UPI) -- A Serbian MiG-29 jet fighter Tuesday crashed at Batajnica military airport outside Belgrade, killing the pilot and a soldier on the ground, officials said.

Lt. Col. Rade Randjelovic, 47, was on a training flight in the area of the Batajnica air force base, 12 miles northwest of Belgrade when the Russian-made MiG-29 jet grazed the ground as he was attempting low-flying acrobatics.

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Randjelovic catapulted himself but suffered serious injuries and died at Belgrade's military medical center.

One soldier on the ground was killed and another slightly injured, a Defense Ministry statement said.

Randjelovic, commander of the air force base, was preparing for an aircraft acrobatics show in Belgrade.

Serbian President Boris Tadic ordered an investigation.

The Serbian air force has five MiG-29s, all of which were grounded in 2004 because of a lack of funds to fix them. They were sent to Russia for overhaul in 2007 and the first fully repaired aircraft returned to Serbia in 2008.

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