Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 “Flanker” Fighter Jet Crashes Killing Pilot

An Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 “Flanker” fighter jet has crashed in the Zhytomyr region at around 3 p.m on Dec. 15 while conducting a routine flight, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine said in a statement.

The pilot of the aircraft was killed in the incident, according to the Ministry of Defence. The jet was reportedly attempting to land at a base when the crash occurred.

The circumstances and causes of the accident are currently not known and will be investigated, added the Ministry of Defence.

Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Russia’s Sukhoi.

Su-27 was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth-generation fighters such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle, with 3,530-km (1,910 nmi) range, heavy aircraft ordnance, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability. The Su-27 was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants have multirole capability, and are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations.

This is the second fatal crash Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 aircraft this year. In October, an Ukrainian Su-27UB twin-seat fighter aircraft crashed during exercise Clear Sky 2018 in the Khmelnytskyi region, Ukraine, killing one U.S. service member and one Ukrainian service member.

The U.S. service member involved in the crash was later identified as U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Seth “Jethro” Nehring, a 44-year old F-15 Eagle pilot from Fresno, California who was assigned to the California Air National Guard’s 194th Fighter Squadron, part of the 144th Fighter Wing. The Airman was taking part in a single-aircraft familiarization flight with a Ukrainian counterpart.

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