MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet crashed outside Moscow on Thursday killing its pilot, the RIA news agency quoted the Defence Ministry as saying.

The plane was returning to its base at the time and was not carrying weapons or ammunition, the ministry was cited as saying. The crash did not cause any serious damage on the ground, it said.

A Defence Ministry commission was reported to be already working at the crash site to try to determine what happened.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Andrew Osborn; Writing by Dmitry Soloyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)