Three Ukrainian Fighter Pilots Lose Lives During Mission

( – During a training mission in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region, two Ukrainian aircraft collided midair, resulting in the deaths of three pilots, as reported by the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) on August 26.

The DBR revealed that the collision of two L-39 aircraft occurred in the sky over the region to the west of Kyiv. The wreckage of the planes crashed into the gardens of private residences. No injuries or deaths were reported from the ground.

Around 3:30 PM local time on August 26, the military cleared the crash site of the wreckage from the planes. The DBR immediately initiated an investigation to find out the aircraft’s condition and adherence to flight protocols. Experts will also analyze the black boxes that document data about the planes’ maneuvers and pilot responses.

The Ukrainian Air Force had confirmed that one of the dead pilots was Andriy Pilshchikov, known by his call sign Juice, notable for his numerous interviews with international media advocating for advanced fighter jets for Ukraine. NATO nations, namely Denmark and Norway, currently have plans to give an undisclosed number of F-16 jets to Ukraine. Kyiv has requested more advanced fighter jets for some time, with Russia warning that any F-16s given to Ukraine will cause escalations.

Addressing the incident on Ukraine’s Aviation Day, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that it was too early to delve into specifics and emphasized that all aspects regarding the causes of the crash would be clarified. He also offered condolences to the families and friends of the three pilots, particularly mentioning Andriy Pilshchikov. He was recognized as a Ukrainian officer who greatly contributed to the nation.

Zelenskiy also shared his condolences on Twitter, saying that the deceased, especially Pilshchikov, were great pilots and good officers for Ukraine, and added that the ongoing investigation would uncover the truth. He reaffirmed that Ukraine would forever remember those who safeguarded its skies.

Copyright 2023,