Pictures circulating on Chinese social media sites show that one of two pilots who parachuted from a People’s Liberation Army Air Force jet that crashed in Henan Province, China, two days ago, is a foreigner suspected to be of Russian nationality.
The L-15 Falcon advanced trainer aircraft allegedly crashed in Caolou Village, Zhangji Township, Yucheng County on April 23. However, some sources report that the crash occurred in Huoshan County, Lu’an City, Anhui Province.
Video footage of the incident showed the aircraft crashing into farmland. A resident who witnessed the crash recorded on video the two pilots laying in a rice field after parachuting and landing safely.
One of the pilots appears to be Chinese, and the other was clearly not Chinese. The witness photographing asked “are you People’s Liberation Army?” The Chinese pilot responded “Yes,” while putting his hand up as a gesture and saying “don’t take pictures.”
The L-15 Falcon is an advanced trainer designed by Nanchang Hongdu Aviation with the assistance of the Russian Yakovlev Design Bureau.
Chinese language media sources are questioning whether the Russian pilot was training the Chinese pilot, or whether the PLA is training Russian pilots, but Chinese military authorities have not made any official statements on the issue, or responded to media inquiries.
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