2 die in fighter jet crash in Ukraine, US pilot "involved"

Clay Curtis
October 17, 2018

The Su-27 crash casts a pall on the first-ever Clear Sky, which kicked off this month and aims to increase the interoperability of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries and partner nations' air forces through training that includes air sovereignty, cyber defense, air-to-ground integration and aeromedical evacuation, among other missions.

The Su-27 fighter jet has crashed near the village of Ulanov (Vinniitskaya region) during the execution of a combat training flight, the press service of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported on Tuesday.

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

The search and rescue group found bodies of two servicemen, the official confirmed.

In its own statement, the U.S. Air Force was not immediately able to confirm any casualties. The incident is now under investigation and do not have any other information to provide at this time. "It is now under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available".

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Details of the plane crash, including the cause, are not clear.

U.S. Air Force pilots are now in Ukraine participating in a large-scale multi-national aviation exercise known as "Clear Sky" involving close to 1,000 personnel from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

The 144th Fighter Wing is participating in Clear Sky 2018, an exercise in which nations train together.

"Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery", it added. The post showed F-15C Eagle fighter jets arriving in western Ukraine a week ago.

The aim is "to enhance regional capabilities to secure air sovereignty and promote peace and security through cooperation", a US Air Force statement said as the drills kicked off last week.

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