Russian training jet crashes, pilots safely eject

A military jet crashed during a training flight Thursday in southern Russia, but its two pilots ejected to safety, a general said. The Czech-made L-39 jet went down near the city of Maikop, about 1,700 kilometers south of Moscow, said Lt.-Gen. Igor Khvorov, the chief of staff for the Russian air force. Both pilots bailed out safely, and there was no damage on the ground, Khvorov said at a news conference. The Russian air force, which has been strapped for cash since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, has seen a string of crashes often blamed on poor pilot training and inadequate maintenance of aging planes.