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Suspected Russian pilot spotted after PLA jet crashes

Video shows foreign pilot in field after Chinese military jet crashes

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Wreckage of jet, Chinese pilot, and foreign pilot. (Youtube, 公子分享screenshots)

Wreckage of jet, Chinese pilot, and foreign pilot. (Youtube, 公子分享screenshots)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video surfaced over the weekend showing a foreign pilot sitting in a field in rural China after the military jet he had been aboard crashed.

Duowei News on Monday (April 25) reported that a Hongdu L-15 Falcon supersonic advanced jet trainer operated by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had on Saturday (April 23) crashed in Caolu Village in Yucheng County, which is situated in Henan Province's Shangqiu City. Both of the occupants, including a suspected Russian national, successfully parachuted from the plane before impact and were spotted sitting in a field apparently awaiting extraction.

In a video that surfaced of the incident Saturday, the jet can be seen roaring overhead before a black plume of smoke appears from its impact nearby. The footage next cuts to villagers inspecting the scene of the crash, where parts of the jet can still be seen burning.

Halfway into another video, uploaded onto the YouTube account 公子分享 on Sunday (April 24), a Chinese PLAAF pilot can be seen lying down in a field of tall grass as he uses a mobile phone to report his status. When the camera pans to the right, a Caucasian man can also be seen.

The man shooting the footage asks the Chinese pilot if he is from the PLA, and he confirms by giving a thumbs up. The villager then exclaims, "They're Chinese! Hello!" the Chinese PLAAF officer responds by waving his hand at the camera and asking the man not to film them.

The L-15 Falcon is an advanced jet trainer designed by Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It can be converted into a light combat aircraft.

The aircraft was developed with the assistance of Russia's Yakovlev Design Bureau. It is the first advanced jet trainer developed by the PLA to follow Western standards.

The PLA has not responded to media requests for comment on the incident, and the nationality of the foreign pilot has yet to be confirmed.