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Sukhoi-27 crashes in Russia, fate of pilot unknown

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The Su-27 fighter.

MOSCOW (PTI): A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashed on Thursday while on a routine sortie in Khabarovsk region in the country's far east and the fate of its pilot is still not clear, according to reports.

“The fighter disappeared at 9.27 AM Moscow time (11.57 IST) from the radar screen. It belonged to the Far Eastern unit of Air Force and Air Defence,” Defence Ministry spokesman Col. Alexei Kuznetsov told 'Rossiya 24' channel.

The fighter was on routine sortie from Dzemgi aerodrome in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

“According to preliminary data available, the plane went missing about 30 kilometres from its base. It was piloted by an experienced officer,” Kuznetsov told the channel.

He said helicopters have been pressed into service to look for the missing plane; however, night darkness is hampering search operation.

Designed by Sukhoi Su-27 in 1977 (NATO name Flanker), the plane is a multi role combat aircraft and its modifications, including Indian Air Force's Su-30MKI, are in service with various countries.

Lately, several Su-27 fighters have crashed mainly due to human error, including two aircraft crashed during an air show last August near Moscow.

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