Russian Su-30 Flanker Nosedives Into Residential Area (Updated)

A Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker multi-role fighter crashed into an apartment building in Siberia Sunday, killing both of its crew and causing a major fire on the ground. 

The Flanker crashed at about 5:30 p.m. local time “during an acceptance flight,” according to the official Telegram channel of the United Aircraft Corporation, Russia’s quasi-state-owned consolidated aircraft manufacturing and development conglomerate.

The jet is said to have just taken off from the nearby Irkutsk Aviation Plant, where Su-30s are built. It was not carrying ordnance, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

“The plane crashed in the Novo-Lenino microdistrict of the city of Irkutsk. The crew died.”

An investigation commission was created to determine the cause of the crash, according to UAC.

“The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation qualified the crash of the Su-30 as a violation of traffic safety rules and the operation of air transport, a criminal case was initiated under Art. 263 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” according to TASS.

Su-30SM (Alex Beltyukov/wikicommons)

Initial video from the scene showed the Flanker nosedive into the ground.

Subsequent videos showed flames that resulted from a residential fire sparked by the crash. Local officials said no one on the ground was hurt. The people who lived in the residence it flew into were not home at the time and will receive payments of 100,000 rubles [$1,622] a piece, according to TASS.

It was the second crash into a residential area of a Sukhoi-made combat aircraft in less than a week. On Oct. 17, a Su-34 Fullback crashed into an apartment building in the city of Yeysk, located across from Ukraine on the Sea of Azov. In that case, however, the crew ejected before the impact and survived. Can you read all about this incident in our previous coverage of it here.

New dashcam video from that incident emerged today, showing the Fullback flying into the apartment building. 15 people died as a result of the crash.

The losses of these aircraft come as Russia’s Air Force continues to lose aviation assets and pilots during the course of its full-on war against Ukraine, which began Feb. 24.

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Update 10:14 AM EST Oct. 24:

The crew of the Su-30SM Flanker multi-role fighter jet may have passed out due to a lack of oxygen caused by residual nitrogen in their oxygen cylinders, Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti reported Monday, citing local emergency officials.

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Howard Altman

Senior Staff Writer

Howard is a Senior Staff Writer for The War Zone, and a former Senior Managing Editor for Military Times. Prior to this, he covered military affairs for the Tampa Bay Times as a Senior Writer. Howard’s work has appeared in various publications including Yahoo News, RealClearDefense, and Air Force Times.