Russian Su-27 Pilot Dies Following Ocean Rescue in Difficult Conditions.

File photo taken at the MAKS 2019 Aviasalon Airshow of a Sukhoi Su-27. (Photo: TheAviationist/Tom Demerly)

Rescued Pilot of Su-27 Did Not Survive After Being Pulled from Ocean.

The pilot of a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO codename “Flanker”) that crashed on March 25, 2020, over the Black Sea approximately 50 kilometers [31 miles] from the town of Feodosia, Crimea, has died after being rescued according to reports.

According to Russian news outlets, a search at sea was conducted in “difficult conditions” for the missing Su-27 pilot. A report that surfaced last night, in the Russian, Moscow time zone (UTC+3), said that, “Two vessels are in the area. Weather conditions are difficult, water temperature is 9 degrees Celsius, with strong winds and waves. Visibility is poor”. Last night a Rosmorrechflot spokesperson said the search mission would continue in nighttime.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense also said last night that, “An emergency radio beacon signal was detected in the area”. The official news release went on to say, “The search for the pilot in the area of the operation is complicated by difficult weather conditions”.

Weather reports in the region from showed moderate to high winds, rain, poor visibility and waves. The emergency radio locator beacon that was reported to have been detected by Russian authorities may have been automatically triggered by the aircraft’s ejection sequence depending upon its configuration.

“There was no order to suspend the search for the night. As long as there is hope of finding survivors, the search will continue,” he said.
The search for the downed pilot was launched as soon as the aircraft disappeared from radar last night. Reports indicated the pilot was located in the water after sunrise this morning with help from the emergency locator beacon, and rescued alive. Russian news reports translated to English said that, “He was taken to one of the hospitals in the city (on the nearest road). But because of strong cold he was not able to save him. The water temperature in the area of the plane was not higher than 5-7 degrees.” Based on these reports it is probable that the pilot may have succumbed to hypothermia.

Another, unrelated, fatal crash occurred farther north in Russia yesterday involving an Aero L-39 trainer. One pilot was found dead the scene from that accident according to Russian officials.

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.