Murphy's Law: May 4, 2001


A Peruvian MiG-29 crashed on 13 March while performing a flight demonstration for the Peruvian Congress. Peru brought 18 MiG-29 fighters and 18 Su-25 bombers from Belarus in a deal arranged by President Fujimori in 1996 for $250 million. The Peruvian Congress has accused Fujimori of receiving kickbacks on the deal. While the Peruvian Air Force insisted that the crash was caused by a bird strike (the pilot ejected safely), the Congressional investigation blamed the crash on the poor condition of the MiG. When Peru bought the planes from Belarus, it bought a stock of spare parts and maintenance equipment, but Russia has refused to provide more of either since it made no profit on the sale. The aircraft are reportedly maintenance problems (most Russian aircraft are) and without a steady supplier of spare parts it is unclear how many of them are operational.--Stephen V Cole


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