Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Military spokesman: Both pilots of Su-27 fighter dead

Military spokesman: Both pilots of Su-27 fighter dead

Ukraine's military said Tuesday that two pilots died when a Sukhoi fighter jet crashed during military exercises with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

"A Sukhoi-27 plane crashed at around 5 p.m. local time during a training flight", the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.

According to the Ukrainian Military Portal, the accident took place during the multinational military exercise titled "Clear Sky-2018".

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

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa said that it was aware of "reports claiming a U.S. casualty". "It is now under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available", it added.

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Other U.S. aircraft participating in the exercise include California ANG C-130s sent to Vinnytsia Air Base; Illinois ANG KC-135s from Powidz Air Base, Poland, and active duty KC-135s from from RAF Mildenhall, England; as well as MQ-9 Reapers based at Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland.

Officials told last week that Clear Sky is the first time F-15s from the California Air National Guard have touched down in Ukraine, and the first time the aircraft has been in Ukraine overall since 1998.

According to Ukrainian military portal, the fighter participated in the worldwide drills Clear Sky 2018.

"Training will focus on air sovereignty, air interdiction, air-to-ground integration, air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense, and personnel recovery", it added.

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