Vietnam’s military aircraft crash into the sea after head-on collision, 2 pilots missing

6:47:00 AM
HANOI, -- Two military aircraft collided with each other during an aerobatic training session off the coast of the central province of Binh Thuan on Thursday, with the fate of the two pilots still unknown.

The Russian-made fighter aircraft Su-22M4 were believed to crash into the East Sea about six nautical miles from Phu Quy Island.

Air controllers lost contact with the pilots at around 10:40 a.m.

So far rescuers have found three oil barrels and pieces of a parachute. Traces of oil were also spotted near the accident site.

Initial information is that the 1976-produced aircraft were part of a team tasked with protecting the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.

The search and rescue mission is going on.

On March 26, a military helicopter, also produced during Soviet ear, crashed when it was about to land on Phu Quy Island, but all men all board survived.

Two previous crashes involved a Russian Mi-171 and a US-built UH-1, and killed 24 military personnel in total.

The Vietnam People's Air Force Su-22M4. Su-17M-4 ('Fitter-K') attack aircraft.

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