Ukraine’s military says a two-seat Ukrainian fighter jet has crashed during a joint exercise with NATO air forces, killing both the pilot and co-pilot: “A Sukhoi-27 plane crashed at around 17h00 local time during a training flight,” the Armed Forces General Staff said in a statement on 16 October, adding that “the bodies of the two pilots have been found.” The circumstances of the crash, which occurred in the Khmelnytskyy region, around 180 kilometres southwest of Kyiv, have yet to be clarified, it added.
The US Air Forces in Europe and Africa said that it was aware of ‘reports claiming a US casualty.’
A statement said it “can confirm a U.S. service member was involved in this incident,” but stopped short of confirming the American’s death. Personnel from the United States and seven other NATO member states are taking part in the Clear Sky drills, which run until 21 October. Members of a California Air National Guard unit are among the participants. A later report said: “We have seen reports claiming a US casualty and can confirm a US service member was involved in this incident,” the release said. “It is currently under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.”