Ukraine Mourns Death Of Former Su-27 Flanker Display Pilot Col. Oksanchenko Shot Down Near Kyiv

Colonel Oksanchenko
The Su-27 during the famous RIAT 2017 display (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito). In the box, the photo of Col. Oksanchenko that was posted online by the Ukrainian Government.

Col. Oksanchenko, considered one of the world’s best display pilots, posthumously awarded the title of “Hero of Ukraine” by President Zelensky.

Ukrainian Air Force pilot Colonel Oleksandr Oksanchenko, reportedly nicknamed “Grey Wolf”, was killed after his jet was shot down near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. According to a post on Facebook by European Airshows page, Oksanchenko lost his life on Friday night when his jet was shot down by Russian S-400 Triumph Air Defence Missile System although this has not been officially confirmed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posthumously awarded the pilot with the title of “Hero of Ukraine”, the President’s Office announced on social media on Mar. 1, 2022.

Oksanchenko had gained international fame as the Su-27 Flanker display pilot with the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade from Myrhorod air base, taking part at various European air shows including SIAF, Royal International Air Tattoo and the Czech International Air Fest. In particular, at RIAT 2017, flying the Sukhoi Su-27P1M he received the ‘As the Crow Flies’ Trophy (FRIAT Trophy), for the best overall flying demonstration as judged by members of the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Col. Oksanchenko
The Su-27P piloted by Col. Oksanchenko takes off for its display at RIAT 2017 (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)

He retired from active duty in 2018 but continued to serve as a consultant and trainer but, following the Russian attack on Ukraine, he voluntarily returned to active duty to eventually find the death in the skies of Kyiv. We don’t know what type of aircraft Col. Oksanchenko was flying when he was shot down.

Needless to say, someone has started to report that Col. Oksanchenko was the legendary “Ghost of Kyiv“, although neither the actual existence of the ace nor the fact that he was really the pilot who shot down 10 enemy aircraft can be verified at this time.

Another image of the Su-27 piloted by Col. Oksanchenko during the display at RIAT 2017 (Image credit: Alessandro Fucito)
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.