Sukoi SU-27 down at Polish Airshow . . YouTube Video . . .

Updated video

The Associated Press

A Belarusian fighter jet crashed Sunday during an air show in central Poland, killing both pilots on board the two-seater plane, officials said.
The Su-27 jet went down while performing maneuvers at a festival in Radom, 65 miles (105 kilometers) south of Warsaw.

Footage broadcast on state television in Poland showed the plane turning in the air, then dropping behind trees. A giant cloud of black smoke appeared on the horizon. The Su-27 was not near the tarmac or crowds attending the air show when it crashed.

The two Belarusian pilots were killed, the air show’s organizers said in a statement. A joint Polish-Belarusian panel of experts was investigating the cause.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said the crash was likely caused by birds becoming entangled in an engine.

When the plane began to lose altitude during a stunt flight, the pilots “did not eject and steered the plane away from the town, avoiding graver consequences at the cost of their lives,” ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Remenchuk said.

He identified the pilots as Col. Alexander Morfitsky and Col. Alexander Zhuravlevich. He said Morfitsky was deputy commander of an air force unit in western Belarus, and Zhuravlevich was deputy commander of a fighter base.

The jet was one of two Belarusian planes taking part in the show. The other aircraft was a transport plane.

I’m willing to say the pilots were honorable in death, but to my inexpert eye, the story of the birds doesn’t align with the flight path.
Very sad.

I’ve seen several crashes that are very similar with that jet were the Pilot comes out of a loop and stalls at the bottom

I witnessed crash at KNXX (Willow Grove NAS) in 2000, the F-14 pilot was demonstrating a rejected carrier landing. He piloted the aircraft into the woods to avoid a residential area just north of the field. The fireball that ensued is emblazoned into my brain.

Both pilots attempted to eject but they were too close to the crash. I feel for the victims, and also the witnesses of this crash.

fighter pilot are trained to defend their country… not to do stunt! and its just pure sadness that the public like to see fancy stunt that has chances to cause potential disasters to ‘public asset’, ‘the pilot’s life’ and ‘other people’s asset or lives’…

i think its nonsense to have these air shows… with the latest planes so fast and advanced… its not like old 2nd world war propeller planes that can go slow enough to do stunt and people can see them noisy around the airfield with their fancy painting… i just don’t think it was an good idea… dont know why people do it! :frowning:

The use of the term “stunt” has always annoyed me when refering to airshows. This isn’t some barnstormer who taught himself to fly, out there just winging it and hoping for the best. These pilots are not “doing stunt”. They are flying an aircraft through what are considered normal maneuvers and demonstrating the aircraft’s capabilities to the public. Reasons for this range from “showing the taxpayers what they are paying for” to recruiting to a subtle reminder to political and military foes. Unfortunately, some of the pilots from the former Soviet republics and other cash strapped nations get very little flight time, which only raises the possibility of pilot error during a demo.
When done right, a demo flight is a safe thing. Unfortunately, there is very little room for error. Should we stop motor racing, horse racing, boat racing, etc, etc, etc? All have the possibility of crashes, injuries, deaths, and assorted mayhem. Folks are fascinated by flight and always have, and always will, want to see what can be done with aircraft.

yeah, everyone stay home and watch spongebob will be the safest thing! No… i’m not saying that… oh well… :unamused:

Ohhh! Spongebob is on??? I’ve gotta go! :laughing:

Obviously, an airshow isn’t the safest event known to man, but a properly planned and managed airshow, using only professional demo teams and pilots, is relatively low risk. There has not been a spectator death at an airshow in the United States since September, 1951. By contrast, there have been at least 29 deaths and 70 injuries to spectators at auto races in the U.S since 1999. That is an amazing contrast by any standard. Sure, there are more auto races than aishows, but the fact that it has been 58 years since a spectator perished at an airshow is proof that a good “safety culture” works. I’m not implying that the rest of the world is sloppy or negligent in this regard, I simply had U.S. facts available. Just trying to show that the risk are much lower than for many, many other activities.

LiveLeak Video just added Sept 24/09

interesting find …very sad.

This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

Another video has been downloaded onto LiveLeak that covers the jets entire flight.

Updated video

Such sights never fade.

Good fighter and good pilots. Terrible way to go, knowing you are gonna hit and can’t do a thing about it. Wonder why they did not eject?

I wonder why as well, they weren’t close to the crowd and based on my observations there wasn’t a town (of course I could be wrong) but If I were put in that situation I’d rather die flying the plane away from the spectators and into open space rather than eject and have the jet crash into the crowd. I couldn’t live with the fact that I survived and many others didn’t.

Ya, I thought about the crowd, but it was heading towards the woods. I’m sure the pilot did the best he could. I’ll bet there was houses on the other side of those woods…

Theres always the very small chance that he may have blacked out briefly during the pull, although I doubt it…but the chance still may exist.

It struck me as odd that the show had so much Vertical maneuvering incorporated for such low (albeit broken) sky cover.

I might be possible that the pilots hadn’t practiced or planned a “low” show.

I did not think about that. But I doubt it.