2 Pilots Eject from MiG-23 During Incident at Thunder Over Michigan

The vintage jet, which was performing the air show finale, went down in an apartment building parking lot.

The MiG-23, seen here taking off in Lakeland, Florida in April 2023, crashed while performing the air show finale. [Credit: Shutterstock]

Fans at the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show in Ypsilanti got more than they bargained for Sunday when the MiG-23 that was performing around 4 p.m. EDT developed some sort of issue that caused the pilot and backseater to eject. 

Video of the event shows the jet at low altitude entering a left bank when the occupants of the aircraft ejected. Some witnesses stated they saw fire coming from the jet.

The flight demonstration was taking place over Willow Run Airport (KYIP). The privately owned MiG was part of the finale for Thunder Over Michigan. 

Two parachute canopies were seen along with a large column of black smoke as the jet crashed in the parking lot next to an apartment building in Belleville, Michigan.

There were no injuries on the ground and no damage reported to the building. The cars in the parking lot were unoccupied, however, a few were damaged.

The Wayne County Airport Authority reported that both pilots were recovered safely and "while it did not appear they sustained any significant injuries, they were taken to a local hospital as a precaution," The Detroit News reported.

The remainder of the air show was canceled following the accident.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.

The registration of the 1981 MiG shows it belongs to Daniel Filer from Alto, Texas.

This is a developing story that FLYING will continue to follow.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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