Pilots killed in jet crash during military excercise

A Ukrainian fighter jet crashed during a joint exercise with US and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air forces Tuesday, killing both pilots, Ukraine's military said.

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.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) confirmed that an American military service member was aboard the Ukrainian Air Force SU-27 that crashed.

In another statement, published on Facebook, the Ukrainian General Staff specified that the crew of the crashed fighter jet comprised a Ukrainian air force pilot and a US Air National Guard pilot.

The crash is under investigation. "We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available".

It was not immediately clear if the other pilot aboard the Su-27 was killed or injured.

"We are aware of a Ukrainian Su-27UB fighter aircraft that crashed in the Khmelnytskyi region during Clear Sky 2018 today".

Details of the plane crash, including the cause, are not clear. They include members of a California Air National Guard unit based in Fresno, California.

USA servicemen stand in front of US F-15 fighter during an air force exercises on Starokostyantyniv military airbase in Ukraine, Oct. 12, 2018.

"Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery", the Air Force said at the time.

  • Jon Douglas