Two pilots, a Ukrainian and an American, died when a Ukrainian SU-27UB fighter jet crashed during the NATO Clear Sky 2018 global military drills Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on October 16. One of them was a U.S. Air National Guard serviceman, the prosecutor's office said, before deleting this information.
The name of the American pilot is being withheld pending next of kin notification, Bowyer-Meeder said.
Military authorities said the bodies of the two airmen had been recovered. The mishap occurred during a familiarization flight as part of Exercise Clear Sky 2018.
Officials told Military.com last week that Clear Sky is the first time F-15s from the California Air National Guard have touched down in Ukraine, and the first time the aircraft has been in Ukraine overall since 1998. "Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and fellow Airmen of both the U.S. Airman and Ukrainian aviator who were killed in the incident".
Local residents reported seeing the jet lose altitude as it diverted from a civilian neighborhood, according to the Kiev-based Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News, which quoted a Ukrainian air force statement.
The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa issued a statement saying it was aware of "reports claiming a U.S. casualty".
According to an English translation of the statement "the airplane Su-27UB of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has crashed during the training and combat flight".
The operation, Exercise Clear Sky 2018, featured around 950 service members from nine nations across the world. The goals of the exercise were to enhance regional security and cooperation between Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, and other partners in the region.