News State Victoria News Vintage Soviet fighter claims the life of Victorian pilot
Updated:

Vintage Soviet fighter claims the life of Victorian pilot

A Yakovlev Yak-9UM like the one that plunged to earth in the LaTrobe Valley. Photo: YouTube/Wings
Share
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

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.