Feature

Air fleet decays

The week's news at a glance.

Tirana, Albania

A decrepit Albanian fighter plane exploded in midair last week, prompting military commentators to declare the entire military air fleet obsolete. The MiG-19 jet broke apart, killing the pilot, shortly after taking off from Mother Teresa Airport. Former defense minister Perikli Teta said all 79 of Albania’s MiGs, built in China in the 1950s and ’60s, belong in a museum. “Even Third World countries do not fly this plane anymore,” he said. Other experts said it was too dangerous to continue using Mother Teresa Airport for both military and civilian flights. Albania is the poorest country in Europe, after Moldova.

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