Su-27 Flanker fighter crashes in Russia`s Far East
One of the pilots killed, the other survived
A Russian Su-27UB Flanker air superiority fighter crashed on Tuesday in the Primorye Territory in Russia`s Far East, killing one pilot, an Air Force spokesman said, according to RIA Novosti.
The two-seat version of the $35-mln combat aircraft crashed at 07.30 GMT while performing a routine test flight near an airfield 12 kilometers (7 miles) north of Ussuriisk after scheduled maintenance work.
"One of the pilots was killed, and the other survived the crash," Lt. Colonel Vladimir Drik said, adding that no casualties or damage on the ground had been reported.
A special investigation commission has launched a probe into the crash, which may have been caused by a technical failure.
Russian Air Force said the flights of other Su-27 fighters would not be suspended during the investigation.
Su-27 fighters have been produced in Russia since 1982. They are still widely used in the Russian Air Force and are gradually undergoing maintenance repairs to extend their service life.
The Su-27 Flanker and its variant, the Su-30 Flanker C, account for a major share of Russia`s arms exports. Last year, Sukhoi exported 50 of these aircraft, accounting for 50% of Rosoboronexport`s export revenues.
An Su-27 fighter from the 6th Air Army flying from St. Petersburg to Kaliningrad, a Russian Baltic exclave surrounded by European Union states, crashed on September 15, 2005 on Lithuanian territory after a navigation system failure.
Russia has compensated Lithuania $23,000 in damages for the accident.
On July 27, 2002 a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 of the Ukrainian Falcons crashed during an aerobatics presentation at Sknyliv airfield near Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 people and injuring over 100 spectators. The crash remains the world`s worst airshow disaster to date.