2 die in fighter jet crash in Ukraine, US pilot "involved"

The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said the two-seat Su-27UB went down in the Kmelnitskyi region.

The search and rescue group found bodies of two servicemen, the official confirmed.

Ukrainian officials first reported the incident, noting that two pilots aboard the Su-27 had been killed in the crash during the joint multi-national exercise with US and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air forces in the Khmelnytskyi region, according to The Associated Press.

"We have also seen the reports claiming a USA casualty and are now investigating and working to get more information. It involves more than 50 aircrafts from eight North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member-states and our planes - of the Ukrainian Air Forces", Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko said on October 11, 2018.

According to the Ukrainian Military Portal, the accident took place during the multinational military exercise titled "Clear Sky-2018".

"Clear Sky 2018 is a joint and multinational exercise that will involve approximately 950 personnel from nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States", a September news release from the Air Force stated.

The Su-27 crash casts a pall on the first-ever Clear Sky, which kicked off this month and aims to increase the interoperability of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries and partner nations' air forces through training that includes air sovereignty, cyber defense, air-to-ground integration and aeromedical evacuation, among other missions. They include members of a California Air National Guard unit based in Fresno, Calif. "We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available".


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