VLADIVOSTOK. August 17. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Air Force Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin has left for the site of the Su-27 plane crash, along with other state officials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
According to the most recent official report, one of the two pilots had a spinal fracture while the other pilot died.
Two Su-27 fighter planes of the Russkie Vityazi group collided in the air during the rehearsal flight ahead of air show MAX 2009. The accident took place in the area of the Ramenskoye airfield on Sunday. Parts of the crashed planes were strewn over summer houses located near Zhukovski.
Reportedly, a parachute of Igor Tkachev, Commander of Russkie Vityazi group, had failed to release.
The accident occurred during the joint flight of the aerobatic demonstration teams Russkie Vityazi (Russian Knights) and Strizhi (Swifts). The composite air display team comprised nine planes: five fighters Su-27 and Su-30 of the Russkie Vityazi group and four fighters Mig-29 of the Strizhi aerobatic team. Initially the flight was going down as planned and after the aerobatic team split in two, the Russkie Vityazi unit exited the flying zone for subsequent re-grouping. The four fighters Mig-29 of Vityazi unit continued to fly over the territory of the Air Show MAX-2009. And at that time the two Su-27 fighters of Russkie Vityazi unit collided in mid-air during re-grouping beyond the air show territory, reported ITAR-TASS.
A commission consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and General Headquarters of the Russian Air Force has been already assigned for probe into the crash, Colonel Vladimir Drik said.
The crash occurred on the Russian Air Force Day, traditionally celebrated on the third Sunday of August. The aerobatic teams were rehearsing for the international aerospace salon AIR SHOW MAX – 2009 slated for August 18.