Air Force Pilot Killed In Ukraine Fighter Jet Crash

Erika Holt
October 18, 2018

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement that an SU-27 fighter jet had crashed Tuesday afternoon "in the area of Ulanov, between the settlements of Berdychiv and Khmilnyk".

"We have seen reports claiming a U.S. casualty and can confirm a U.S. service member was involved in this incident", U.S. Air Forces Europe said in a Tuesday statement.

The training flight was part of Clear Sky 2018, the largest aviation exercise staged in Ukraine since the former Soviet-bloc country gained independence in the early 1990s.

The National Police of Vinnytsya Oblast have already started an investigation at the crash scene. "It is now under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available", it added.

Personnel from nine nations are taking part in the Clear Sky 2018 exercises that started in Ukraine on October 8 and is expected to run until October 19.

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"It is now under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available", U.S. Air Forces in Europe said in a statement.

An F-15D participating in the exercise "had a minor mechanical issue in flight on Friday that caused the sortie to be cut short", Air Force Maj. More details will be added as they emerge.

Fox News reports the pilot was one of two aboard a Ukrainian fighter jet that crashed during a joint military training involving the U.S. Military and their counterparts in Ukraine.

The U.S., U.K., Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Netherlands, Poland and Romania are also attending NATO's aerial military exercises in western Ukraine.

California units were heavily represented in Clear Sky with F-15C Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules.

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