The Russian Defense Ministry says a Russian air force fighter jet has crashed in the south but its pilot ejected safely.

The MiG-29 fighter jet went down Friday near the village of Kushchevskaya in the Krasnodar region, 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Moscow. The ministry said there was no damage on the ground.

In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, the agency said the air force has grounded its MiG-29 fleet pending the outcome of an official probe into the crash. Another Mig-29 crashed a month ago, its crew of two bailing out safely.

The twin-engine MiG-29 has been a mainstay of the Soviet and Russian air force since the 1980s and has been widely exported.