Russia’s Defense Ministry says a MiG-29K fighter jet has crashed in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria after taking off from the deck of Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
The ministry said the pilot was safe after he ejected from the plane in the November 14 crash.
It said the pilot was rescued from the sea and brought back to the aircraft carrier and that his life was "not in danger."
The ministry said the crash was the result of an "equipment fault" that occurred when the plane was several kilometers away from the aircraft carrier and making an approach for a deck landing.
The ministry said ships in the Russian aircraft carrier task force were acting "according to plan" despite the crash.
Russia's only aircraft carrier has been accompanied by a missile cruiser and six other ships in what has been the Russian Navy's largest deployment since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The deployment has been criticized by Western governments as an attempt to boost military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and intensify air strikes against rebel-held civilian neighborhoods of Aleppo.
Based on reporting by RIA, TASS, Interfax, Reuters, AP, and AFP