Air Force confirms California guardsman killed in fighter crash in Ukraine

Air Force confirms California guardsman killed in fighter crash in Ukraine

A Ukrainian Sukhoi-27 fighter jet crashed during large-scale military exercises with the US air force, the Ukrainian air force said Tuesday.

Hundreds of USA and Ukrainian airmen are conducting flight operations at Starokostiantyiv between Lviv and Kiev in Ukraine's western region in the two-week exercise, a first of its kind.

The airman was taking part in a single-aircraft familiarization flight with a Ukrainian counterpart when the crash occurred at about 5 p.m.in the Khmelnytskyi region, the USAFE-AFAFRICA statement said.

The Su-27UB jet was taking part in Clear Sky 2018, a joint military exercise with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members taking place October 8 through 19 in Western Ukraine.

Petrenko was the experienced Air Force officer, fully trained to act as an instructor during combat missions in both day- and nighttime, in complicated weather conditions. Nor did it clarify the fate of the US pilot. It said a rescue team found the jet's two pilots dead. The press center of the Air Force command reported this on Wednesday morning. The Ukranian air force said that training flights of all types of aircraft would continue, according to UNIAN.

The Military Prosecutors Office of Central Region has already opened a criminal case on the "violation of flying rules", reads a statement published on its website on October 16. According to the preliminary information, he was the USA citizen.

The operation, Exercise Clear Sky 2018, featured around 950 service members from nine nations across the world.

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

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