A Melbourne aviation buff has lost his life in the crash of a rare World War Two Russian fighter.
The Yakovlev Yak-9UM came down in a paddock at Tanjil South, about 20km from LaTrobe Regional Airport, shortly after 2.30pm on Friday.
Police identified the pilot, who died at the scene, as a 69-year-old Berwick engineer Keith Astrella, who is believed to have re-located the historic warbird earlier tjhis year.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
The “Yak”, sometimes known as the Red Spitfire, is credited with being the first to shoot down a German ME-262, the world’s first operational jet fighter.