Accident Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23UB N23UB,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 343511
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Date:Sunday 13 August 2023
Type:Silhouette image of generic MG23 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23UB
Registration: N23UB
MSN: 1038107
Year of manufacture:1981
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Willow Run Airport (YIP/KYIP), Belleville, MI -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI (YIP/KYIP)
Destination airport:Detroit-Willow Run Airport, MI (YIP/KYIP)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On August 13, about 1515 eastern daylight time, a Mikoyan Gurevich Mig 23UB, N23UB, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Belleville, Michigan. The pilot and pilot rated observer received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 airshow exhibition flight.

The flight was performing at the “Thunder over Michigan Airshow” held at the Willow Run Airport (YIP), Ypsilanti, Michigan. The accident flight was scheduled to be the second to last act.

The accident airplane was a privately owned Russian designed military fighter airplane that employed variable geometry wings that allowed the wing sweep angle to be changed in-flight. The airplane was powered by a single turbojet engine with afterburner capability.

The pilot reported that the flight departed from runway 23 at YIP, followed by a right turn to a “banana pass” (a low-level knife edge pass) along runway 23. Following the pass, he started banking the airplane and noticed that the engine afterburner did not ignite, and the airspeed began to decrease. He brought the swing wings into the fully forward position (16° sweep) to increase lift and began troubleshooting the problem. He was actively troubleshooting when the rear seat observer stated that they needed to eject. The pilot reported that he was not ready to eject and was still troubleshooting the problem and maneuvering the airplane toward runway 27 at YIP when his ejection seat fired, and he was out of the airplane. He stated that if either occupant pulls the ejection handle, both seats eject.

The rear seat observer stated that the airplane made a pass along the runway and the plan was to go to the left for another pass followed by a landing. He stated that the engine was not accelerating. He and the pilot had a brief discussion and began to climb up and gain altitude. They determined that they had some type of engine problem and needed to get back on the ground. He stated that they determined they did not have sufficient altitude to make it to a runway at the airport. He said they were compressed for time and needed to get out. When asked if he had pulled the ejection seat handles, he stated that he could not specifically remember but thinks that he would have pulled them.

Video evidence indicated that the airplane was in a left bank when the ejection seats fired. The airplane continued in the left bank and descended into the ground about 1 mile south of the approach end of runway 27 at YIP. The wreckage path was about 600 ft. long on a heading of about 35°. There was a postimpact explosion and fire. The fuselage section that contained the tail surfaces and engine came to rest adjacent to an apartment building. The remainder of the airplane was fragmented and distributed along the wreckage path. There were no reported injuries on the ground.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: CEN23FA361
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report


NTSB (5 photos)

History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
28 July 2023 N23UB Private 0 Oshkosh-Wittman Field (OSH/KOSH), Oshkosh, WI min



Revision history:

13-Aug-2023 20:46 Captain Adam Added
13-Aug-2023 21:02 Iceman 29 Updated
13-Aug-2023 21:17 Captain Adam Updated
14-Aug-2023 06:13 harro Updated
14-Aug-2023 07:53 Anon. Updated
14-Aug-2023 09:55 Iceman 29 Updated
15-Aug-2023 12:57 Iceman 29 Updated
16-Aug-2023 05:44 johnwg Updated
16-Aug-2023 05:45 harro Updated
24-Aug-2023 20:37 Captain Adam Updated

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