American Pilot Dead in Ukrainian Military Plane Crash

Pauline Gross
October 17, 2018

A US serviceman was killed in Ukraine on Tuesday when a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 fighter jet crashed during large-scale training exercises in the embattled former Soviet republic.

During the combat training flight, the aircraft started to lose altitude and the pilots headed it away from residential districts to prevent civilian casualties, the General Staff said in a message published on Facebook on October 16, referring to locals who witnessed the crash.

The U.S. Army has an ongoing mission in Western Ukraine focused on training indigenous ground forces involved in the fight against Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine's east.

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa issued a statement saying it was aware of "reports claiming a U.S. casualty". "We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available", the statement said.

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Also reported that both the pilot and co-pilot have been killed after a Su-27UB (70 Blue) fighter jet crashed during a Clear Sky 18 training flight in west-central Ukraine. Moreover, officers from the Ukrainian Air Force have started their own investigation into the cause of the crash.

Clear Sky 2018 is a joint and multinational exercise that involving approximately 950 personnel from nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the California Air National Guard and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command's State Partnership Program, and this exercise will include robust participation of California ANG units".

Other reports by GizPress

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