Russian Su-27 and L-39 Crash In Separate Incidents. One Pilot Missing, One Killed.

A Su-27 Flanker. (Image credit: Fedor Leukhin via Wiki)

Search is Underway for Pilot of Su-27, Reports Say No Survivors in L-39 Crash.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO codename “Flanker”) and an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer crashed in separate incidents yesterday, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Russia. According to Russian news outlets, a search is underway in difficult conditions at sea for the missing Su-27 pilot. The single crewmember onboard the Aero L-39 trainer is reported to have died in the crash.

A statement issued by Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that, “Around 08.10 pm Moscow time [17:10 GMT] on March 25, a Su-27 fighter flying a scheduled mission over the Black Sea at a distance of about 50 kilometers [31 miles] from the town of Feodosia, disappeared from radar screens. An emergency radio beacon signal was detected in the area”. The official news release went on to say that, “The search for the pilot in the area of the operation is complicated by difficult weather conditions”.

The emergency radio locator beacon could have been automatically triggered by the aircraft’s ejection sequence depending upon its configuration.

Official reports from the crash scene also suggest that the search and rescue mission currently underway is significant, including two rescue helicopters, a Russian Navy frigate and several civilian vessels.

The fatal crash of the Aero L-39 trainer took place in the southwestern Dmitrievskaya settlement, Krasnodar Region of Russia. Unspecified local authorities reported the death of the pilot.

The Sukhoi Su-27 is a highly versatile and capable multi-role, twin-engine, single and two seat combat aircraft built in many versions and used by Russia and a number of export air forces and navies. The Chinese Shenyang J-11 is based heavily on the Su-27 design template. The Su-27 first flew in 1977 and entered service with Russia’s armed forces in 1985. It is in service with Russia, Ethiopia, Angola, Ukraine and Indonesia. The aircraft has been used extensively in combat and has a proven record including service in the Syrian conflict since 2015.

The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross is a ubiquitous and highly successful, economical single-engine, two-seat jet trainer and multirole aircraft. In recent years, some versions have been configured for the light attack role. The aircraft is also popular with private owners and private companies charged with the adversary aircraft simulation mission. It is operated through Asia, Russia and the west as one of the most prolific tactical aircraft currently flying.

File photo of Aero L-39 jet trainer. (Photo: via Aero Vodochody)

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.