Poland’s Defense Ministry on July 30 said that F-16 planes of the national Air Force intercepted a Russian light plane in the country’s airspace.AP
The pilot of Russia’s light plane intercepted by Polish F-16 fighters has been set free and is getting ready for competitions, the director of Poland’s aerobatics club in the city of Radom, Stainslaw Szczepankowski, has told the TVN24 channel.
"All is well. Everything has been settled. He (the pilot) is already flying with us," he said.
Poland’s Defense Ministry on July 30 said that F-16 planes of the national Air Force intercepted a Russian light plane in the country’s airspace. Defense Ministry spokesman Bartholomew Misiewicz said the incident took place last Friday, July 29.
"A Russian aerobatics plane intruded into closed airspace. The pilot was heading for Krakow. As soon as the warning came the plane had entered into the prohibited area without special permission our F-16s were ordered into the air," Misiewicz said on Polish television.
The Russian pilot received radio instructions confirmed by gestures.
"He obeyed the orders," Misiewicz said, adding that after the plane landed at Radom he was detained by police. According to the available information, the Russian pilot was on the way to Radom for an international aerobatics competition due to begin on August 5. Two Polish fighters forced it to land and the plane was presumably locked up in a hangar for a while.
The Russian embassy in Warsaw is looking into the reported detention of a Russian pilot by the Polish Air Force, the embassy’s spokeswoman Valeria Perzhinskaya said.
"The embassy in Warsaw has received no messages from the Russian citizen or official notifications from the Polish side. The embassy is clearing up the situation," Perzhinskaya said.
Poland on July 24 - August 1 imposed restrictions on all flights by light planes for the period of World Youth Days attended by the Pope. All entertainment and training flights were prohibited inside an area of 100 kilometers around Krakow. The ban applied to drones, too. The one who uses them in violation of the introduced restrictions may face a prison term of up to five years.
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