A member of the Russian Knights , the elite Russian Aerobatic Demonstration Team was killed on Thursday, June 9 , near Moscow,when his Sukhoi SU-27P fighter-jet, Knight 6, crashed due to an as yet, unspecified mechanical problem. The aircraft went down in a nearby wooded area, with the pilot, who could not eject from his stricken plane, but was able to prevent his aircraft from impacting a number of homes in the area. The deceased team member was identified as Guards Major Sergey Eremenko, born on 4 September 1981. He was a native of the city of Zernograd, and was an avid football fan, he is survived by a wife and two daughters.
An accomplished pilot , he was experienced in a number of aircraft types, including Yak 52s , L-39s , Mig-29s, as well as several variants of SU-27 type. In response to the accident all flight operations of the type have been suspended, pending further investigation. No details were given as to duration of the grounding, though this particular aircraft did receive some recent maintenance. I sure I speak for all of us in the DCS Community, when I say that all of our thoughts are with his loved ones and team members, in this time of grief.
Almost a footnote to this event, an F5E of the Patrouille Suisse , was lost on the same day, following a mid-air collision between two team aircraft. the pilot ejected safely suffering a ” few cuts and bruises.” The aircraft crashed on the shore of a lake. No one on the ground was injured.The second aircraft was able to land safely, the damaged portion of the right horizontal stabilizer clearly visible to ground observers as it passed overhead on final approach to it’s home base
Both of these accidents follow on the heels of a string of accidents on the same day in the U.S. in which both the American teams, the Blue Angels and The Thunderbirds, military flight demonstration teams, both suffered unrelated accidents, within hours of each other, killing one.