A prototype MIG MAPO MiG-AT advanced jet trainer was almost lost during flight trials when the aircraft, piloted by the company's chief test pilot, Roman Taskayev, went into a violent spin.

The incident occurred in August 1996 when Taskayev was flying the aircraft in an ascending spiral at around 9,800ft (3,000m), but has only now been revealed.

The aircraft did not respond to control inputs to reduce the angle of attack and pitched up to the stall angle. Simultaneously, there was a fly-by-wire system failure. The aircraft then entered the spin.

Taskayev recovered partial control at 5,000ft, with the flight-control surfaces in neutral positions. He then made a successful approach to the Zhukovsky flight-test centre near Moscow, although an uncommanded pitch up occurred again at about 100ft.

On inspection, it was found that substantial sections of the outboard elevators were missing, with the left elevator hanging loose on its actuator rod.

The incident was made public as a result of Taskayev being given an award by Russia's Flight Safety Foundation.

Source: Flight International