Russia's defence ministry on 28 May suspended operations using Mil Mi-8 helicopters, following a fatal training accident involving the type.

A statement from the ministry says that a Russian air force Mi-8, on a routine training flight, crashed at around 12:00 local time near the village of Ivanovo in the Saratov region.

Two crew members - the pilot and a student pilot - escaped from the wreckage, but the flight engineer was killed, it says.

Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Viktor Bondarev, suspended operations using the Mi-8 until the service "ascertains the causes of the disaster".

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database records the Russian air force as operating 335 active Mi-8s, with the country's navy flying a further 15 examples.

Source: Flight International