Insane Low Level Flying As Seen From The Cockpit Of A Ukranian Su-25 Frogfoot Jet

Ukrainian Pilots Flying Below Treetop Altitude.

The footage below shows, from inside the cockpit, Ukrainian Air Force Su-25M1 jets during training sorties flown at ultra-low level across the country.

Based on the timestamps included in the video, the clips (filmed with GoPro cameras) were shot between May and October 2014.

We have already seen plenty of videos showing Ukrainian Su-25s performing their Close Air Support missions at very low-level (where they proved to be particularly vulnerable to MANPADS as those in the hands of pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine in July 2014) but this footage provides a pretty unique point of view during treetop navigations and live firing activity (with both bombs and rockets) at the range.

Low level flying is not “restricted” to the Frogfoot jets: here’s a Ukrainian Mig-29 overflying pro-Russia separatist blocking rails; here’s an Ilyushin Il-76 buzzing some Su-25s (and the Frogfoots returning the favor while buzzing the tower); here you can find an Mi-17 helicopter flying among the cars on a highway and another fully armed Mig-29 Fulcrum in the livery of the Ukrainian Falcons aerobatic display team flying over an apron at an airbase in Ukraine; here’s a Su-25 flying low over the heads of a group of female soldiers posing for a photograph and then performing an aileron roll; and here you can see a Su-27 performing a low pass after take off.

Top image: screenshot included in the above footage.



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The fearless ukraininan pilots show their skills fighting for freedom,
    and democracy, in battling the vile pro-russian separatist terrorists,
    and enjoying the newly found prosperity after the revolution of dignity –
    all in full compliance with the regulations of one of the most
    powerful, and best trained airforces in Europe.

    PS: Happy censorship!
    PS2: Aren’t you a little bit ashamed of yourself?

    • Not sure who your PS2 is addressed to.

      Still, you have clearly not read the Comment Policy, nor you are posting something smart or interesting nor you are posting under a real name. This means that your comment should be moderated. Howerer I decided to let it go because people have to see the type of comments we get here and the reason why time-consuming moderation is active.

        • leroy’s comments are moderated as well when needed.
          The comment policy is over there for everyone to read. If you don’t want to comply with a really open policy you can just read the story without commenting.

          Can you please tell me how many of your comments have been “censored”? Or do you want me to give the answer?


          • Yup, I’ve had a number of my comments moderated here. David probably did the right thing when he did so or some of you anti-West snowflakes would have probably had a stroke!

            • We’re not anti-West. We’re just not supporting the actions of our governments (or shadow governments) when it comes to oppression of other nations just in the interest of capitalist goals. There has to be another way.

              Eisenhower’s ‘Military Industrial Complex’ WARNING

              Like one of the comments said: It has become a prophecy.

          • 6 or 7 comments out of ~130 didn’t make it. For 2 I can see why because they were off-topic and more like a personal response to leroy because he crossed the border to fiction again. But what is wrong with links to thesaker or moonofalabama? One was in resonse to leroy when he called me a dummie and that wasn’t really on the same level (as in name calling). His comment is still there.

            • There are 29,422 comments on The Aviationist. Some posts are pre-moderated by Disqus because they contain dangerous or unknown or too links, profanity etc. Others are moderated because they don’t comply with policies. Sometimes, comments are moderated to block or prevent flaming. This means that if your response was to an already out of scope comment, your post might be moderated whereas the other one remain there. It’s a way to stop hostile and insulting interaction between users. I don’t have preferences. When I stop a flame, I usually don’t have time to go back and delete the previous comment. I don’t have enough time to write; comments moderation is done on a best effort fashion, but it’s prone to mistakes. I try to read most of the comments, but it’s usually a quickly scan. Something can be missed. Comments from trustworthy and non-anonymous members are approved faster. Posts from spammers and aggressive people tend to be moderated more. It’s not a perfect machine, but this is what can be done.

              • If you leave the initial comment (with name calling) in place and suppress any reaction, then this person could get the impression of support by the mod. Is that the right way?

                If you want to see the “bottom” of the internet, go to 4chan’s /pol/ board. I have been there many times so I know what real flaming looks like. But surprisingly I also had many very good (rational) conversations there.

  2. Nice video. Of course the A-10 is far superior to the Su-25. The Hog can handle quite a bit more battle damage and the Gau-8/A holds over quintuple the 30mm ammo (1350 vs 250 rounds). God how NATO and U.S. airpower would pick the Su-25 off by the bushell. They wouldn’t stand a chance (especially when F-22 and F-35 gains total control of the air battlespace). Like shooting ducks in a pond.

    • Much as i would like to congratulate you on your amazing confidence in the abilities of western forces, I have come to realize that history is replete with examples of nations that had supreme confidence in their abilities to conquer other nations. Events however turned out not quite as envisioned. Persians vs greeks, Rome vs Parthians, Hapsburg empire vs serbia, Germany vs Russia, US vs North Vietnam, The list goes on.

      The US makes some nice aircraft, but other nations are just as capable and make them to suit their needs.

      Pointing out that US aircraft are rarely shot down is not taking into account that they have not faced a capable air force since Vietnam so have had an easy ride.

      The enemy will always have unknown capabilities, ones that could have a great impact on the battlefield. Saying that US planes will sweep the skies to me sounds like fanboy ism. Never underestimate an enemy. The Germans did in WW2 and they were utterly defeated by a race that they considered subhuman.

    • LOL , good fail on your part. a-10 is both slower AND has smaller combat radius. Also su-25 can operate from a carrier and has radar option :D As for f35 – its cannon is not even operational due to software glitches (not to be fixed until 2019) so yeah, nice CAS plane :D Hilarious !

  3. It clearly is. It outlines what western media (our media) would publish in general when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine. I remember “news” on German TV when neo-Nazi units (Azov, Aidar etc.) were called “ultra nationalist” to hide the truth. But you could see SS runes and swastikas on their helmets as well as the Wolfsangel on their flag. Symbols that you can see a lot on photos of German tanks from WWII. As for Germany, a lot of leading journalists are members of US think tanks and NGOs like Atlantikbrücke, German Marshall Fund etc. You can imagine that they publish biased articles because of this.

    Ukraine has become a frozen conflict. The people from East Ukraine have manpads and thus the Ukranian Air Force doesn’t fly there anymore after initially losing planes. And on the ground it’s also not going well for the Ukrainian Army because both sides are using equal weapons. What the western media is telling about Russian troops in Ukraine has never been proven but is constantly repeated. And that is something Edward Bernays already told. A lie can be turned into truth by constant repetition.

    This site was created for aviation enthusiasts (at least I think so), but even we engage in political discussions because some also repeat again and again what never has been proven about Russia’s role in various conflicts. But what would happen if you put an American and Russian pilot in one room? Would they fight or would they just talk about flying? I think it would be the latter. Those who would make them fight are their (our) leaders.

    • Russian troops HAS BEEN PROVEN, the MANY families that have come forward have all said the same thing (with evidence), that unconnected soldiers sent them letters and emails telling their families that they are being forced to go to the Ukraine out of uniform.
      These unconnected cases from soldiers who didn’t know each other, are solid proof.

      The photographed heavy weapons approaching the border are circumstantial, but they’ve been photo’s IN Ukraine with Russian Army markings, often by Russian soldiers outside of opsec.

      The Russians that fought and died under orders from the Russian government in Ukraine has been verified.

      Arguing anything but is akin to denying the evidence for Gravity or fatty foods causing weight gain.

      For what reason would you deny this?

      I’m genuinely curious… Were you commenting based on 3rd hand or state provided statements?
      Did you ever look at both sides of the story and evaluate the truth?

      Please, keep it civil.

      • You know that people can be bribed to make false statements and wars have very often been started with a lie. Personally I’m being very sceptical when it comes to statements from Russian families. And even if they are out of uniform, why was this not picked up by the usual western channels (except from tabloids)? Because it’s not hard proof that there are regular troops. The Ukrainian government often claimed that they destroyed Russian convoys but never showed proof. Of course, invisible Russian troops don’t leave debris behind when they are destroyed.

        I would be very careful with any information that comes from members of Ukrainian parliament or government. They are consumed by Russophobia and hatred and it has been proven to be false as in this case (see NYT article). Our media in Germany tried the same (using the same photos from Georgia in 2008). And the war in Georgia, which often serves as leverage for “Russian aggression” was started by Georgian president Saakashvili. Did he really think the US would help him?

  4. Ah, the natives in the East Ukraine are Soviet colonists now (when Russia is clearly a capitalist country for more than 2 decades). Invaders of their own country, right? That’s the same BS the media is trying to sell to us.

    The Ukraine was one of the biggest weapons manufacturers in the world. Even Russia bought parts for their weapons there (engines for helicopters and parts for rockets for example). The industry behind that is mostly in Donbass. So they can’t manufacture their own weapons? You forget that they don’t use high end weapons there. You also make a lot of assumptions, and yet, there is no proof that Russians are there. Otherwise our news papers would fill the title pages for weeks with that.

    Bandera is a national hero now in the Ukraine. A Nazi collaborator. That tells a lot about the government. But never mistake that what the government of a country does is also the will of the ordinary people. They have no choice but to endure (like the Russians had to in the 90s) and Poroshenko has the lowest approval rates now. The Ukrainian government seeks to revert history, telling the Soviet Union was the aggressor when they drove back the German troops from Ukraine. They tell that Ukrainian troops, not the Red Army, liberated Auschwitz. There is a Russophobia going on that is worse than in cold war.

    You talk about the Ukrainian population and what they want? At least half of the population and the population of the Crimea disagrees with the coup that took place in Kiev. That’s the reason for the civil war (nothing else it is). 5 years? The coup was in February 2014. That’s 3 years. The US have a hand in that as they “invested” 5 billion Dollars in the Ukraine to change the political landscape in their favor. And look up how the US influenced the elections in Russia in favor of Boris Yeltsin. The history they have to incite “regime changes” is endless.

    I hope you’re familiar with this? Why the US is so desperate to keep Russia from working together with Germany and the rest of Europe.

    As for your pro-Russian outcome. What would that be?

    People always seek something they can’t identify themselves with (especially in uncertain times), to stand apart from others, to make themselves feel like they are worth more, like they are better. Some in the Slavic countries have now chosen to relate themselves with the old Nordic beliefs. But that’s not the majority. Look at American exceptionalism. Is that so much different?

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