Two Sukhoi Su-34, the twin-engine, twin-seater supersonic fighter-bomber operated by the Russian Air Force, collided in midair on September 6, 2019, leading to one of the combat aircraft losing its wing. Both Su-34 were taking part in a training mission over Russia's Lipetsk region when they grazed against each other twice within a few seconds resulting in major damages to the two combat aircraft.
Sputniknews.com reported quoting Russian REN TV that pilots of both the Su-34 were able to land the fighters and no one was injured. The midair collision reportedly took place due to pilots' error and they are likely to pay for the same. A Russian Air Force special commission will investigate the collision and also determine the responsibility of the crew members of the two Su-34s.
"The pilots’ error resulted in the collision over the Lipetsk Region, a special commission is now studying the details of the accident, which will particularly determine the extent of responsibility of each of the crews. The Su-34 jet crew is made up of a pilot and a navigator. The pilots are likely to pay for the damages inflicted," TASS news agency quoted a source. According to Russian media reports, the warplanes made contact with one another in the air due to a loss of visual contact.
REN TV reported that the leading Su-34's wing grazed the other plane's cockpit first. "The leader hit the wingman with the end of the wing by the cockpit and while trying to turn their jets away, they collided again. At the same time, debris got into the engine of one of the planes," REN-TV quoted ac source as saying.
While the cabin, engine and fuselage of one of Su-34 suffered extensive damage, the second fighter-bomber lost its wingtip along with some equipment related to the electronic countermeasures system.
The mid-air collision of two fighters comes just five after two Russian Air Force pilots died when a Sukhoi Su-25UB fighter-bomber crashed in an isolated part of Stavropol Region in the southern part of the country. According to the Russian Defense Ministry statement on Wednesday, the two pilots failed to eject from the doomed combat aircraft.