Unconfirmed reports say an American pilot was also aboard the Ukrainian Flanker.
On Oct. 16, a Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 flying a training mission crashed near Ulaniv (between the settlements of Berdichev and Khmilnyk) in Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced.
According to Meduza, a Riga-based online newspaper and news aggregator in Russian language, a Ukrainian and an American pilot were killed in the accident.
However, the U.S. Air Force in Europe has not yet confirmed the fate of the U.S. pilot.
Here’s what the USAFE website says:
We are aware of a Ukrainian Su-27UB fighter aircraft that crashed in the Khmelnytskyi region during Clear Sky 2018 today. The incident is currently under investigation and do not have any other information to provide at this time. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
We have seen reports claiming a U.S. casualty and can confirm a U.S. service member was involved in this incident. It is currently under investigation and we will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.
According to AFM Editor Thomas Newdick, the aircraft involved in the incident is an upgraded Su-27UB1M “70 Blue”.
Several U.S. military are currently deployed to Starokostiantyniv, an airbase to the west of Kiev, to take part in Clear Sky 2018, a multinational exercise that will see the participation of 950 military from 9 countries, with assets distributed across several bases, both in Ukraine and Poland. Among them, the airmen from the 194th Fighting Squadron of the 144th Fighter Wing, California ANG, from California Air National Guard Base Fresno, California, who have deployed to Ukraine along with their F-15C.
126th Air Refueling Wing
As well as airmen from Air National Guard units in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Alaska, and Washington, and some active-duty Airmen from bases in Europe.
— Oriana Pawlyk (@Oriana0214) October 16, 2018
Two-seat aircraft are often used for familiarization sorties and exchange backseat flights during exercises, so the eventual presence of a U.S. pilot aboard the Ukrainian aircraft would be quite normal.
Image credit: Chris Lofting/Wiki