American Pilot May Have Been Involved In Ukraine Plane Crash

by Garry Watts October 17, 2018, 18:40
American Pilot May Have Been Involved In Ukraine Plane Crash

The exercises run until Friday, with USA fighter and transport planes training with about 30 Ukrainian aircraft.

The crash occurred in the Vinnytsia region, around 180 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Kiev.

Earlier, it was reported that the Ukrainian Su-27 and the US F-15 fighter jets conducted a training mission within Clear Sky 2018 military drills.

"The aircraft, which was involved in military drills, met all technical requirements", General Staff said, adding that several months before the start of the worldwide drills on October 9 the fighter, which belonged to the 831th Tactical Aviation Brigade based in Mirhorod, Poltava Oblast, had undergone full repairs.

"We are sad to report that according to the search-and-rescue group, the bodies of two pilots were found", the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said in a statement posted to its website.

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Reports then began to filter out that one of the pilots was a USA service member.

The National Police of Vinnytsya Oblast have already started an investigation at the crash scene.

According to the Ukrainian Military Portal, the accident took place during the multinational military exercise titled "Clear Sky-2018". "We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available".

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa has since confirmed that the U.S. service member, who has not been identified, was of the 144th Fighter Wing of California Air National Guard in Fresno.

The Clear Sky 18's training is meant to increase the level of interoperability of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the Air Forces of the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, work out effective joint management of operations in the air, work out the sharing of intelligence and surveillance capabilities, as well as cyberdefense focused on the needs of the air forces.

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