Fifth Russian Military Aircraft Crashes in Past Month

Su-24A Russian Su-24 all-weather attack jet crashed Monday killing both pilots and bumping up the tally of Russian military that have crashed in the past month to five.

The Su-24 crashed shortly after taking off in western Russia near Khabarovsk. Another Russian Su-24 crashed in February.

Monday’s crash was one of five to have occurred in a Russian air force fleet that is showing its age since military leaders have increased exercises and flights.

Two MiG-29s fighter jets, a Tu-95 Bear bomber and a Su-34 Fullback heavy strike fighter have crashed over the past month. The Russians temporarily grounded their MiG-29 and Tu-95 fleets to investigate the causes of the crashes.

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Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • Stratege

    The Su-34 accident has occurred because of pilot error factor.
    Mig-29 and Su-24 (basically, >30 years old airframes with a awful maintenance in 1990s) fleet is aging appreciably.

    • Dfens

      What a coincidence, all of our military airplane crashes happen because of pilot error too. Different defense oligarchs, but the same result. Who would have seen that coming?

  • hank

    I feel sorry for the pilots having to fly those planes with such poor engines. Russian jet engines have always been unreliable at best. Hence the Russians always trying to steal western jet engine tech.

    • Paul

      ah screw it…In Mother Russia jet engines fly you!

      • Stan

        Should be you fly the jet engines

    • Stratege

      You have no clue what you talking about.

      • A. Nonymous

        Yes, he does. Inferior metallurgical manufacturing technology = high-temperature turbine blade creep = less reliable engines which require frequent heavy maintenance.

        • Stratege

          You have no clue what you talking about too. Saturn or Klimov (Russia’s top manufacturers) are making a great jet engines. With pretty long service life, reliable, a lot of thrust, TVC, with know-how technology (that still can’t be copied by China, for an example).
          There were early, not very successful Soviet designs. But it’s erroneous to generalize that to all engines made by Russia are bad.

          • Aurelio

            Stating something about of russian technology superiority lead me too think that you are confusing what you wish with what you have.

  • lance

    They are flying w/o inspections and maintenance. Face it there pulling a show off and are not taking time in inspection and maintenance for there planes this is more of a Russian leadership problem than a plane problem face it over the last few years under Obama we had crashes as well . From 08 till now we had two F-15s two F-16s and a F-22 all crashed.

    • duker

      Much much more than that F15 crashes ( writeoffs), since 2008 are 14, there have been 25 for F16 but only 5 of the much older A10, while the newest F22 has been 8 crashes since 08

      • A.Physicist

        Actually, the F-15 has the exact same destroyed rate as the A-10. 1.98 per 100k flight hours. The F-22 is very close at 2.08. The F-16 is higher, 3.1 lifetime, though it is 1.29 for the last 10 years. Better check your other numbers, too:…

        Numbers are famously hard to come by for the RuAF, but for the Mig-29 the rate was about 12 (!) per 100k in the 90s. Worse still, India’s rate with the Mig-29 peaked at 24.…

        The difference comes down to fleet size and airframe hours. The USAF achieves a similar overall attrition _count_ with a much bigger fleet and more hours. The current rate is unsustainable for the RuAF.

        • USMarine64

          Great response.

          USMC aviator- retired and previous experience in aviation safety stats at HQ Marine Corps level.

  • Steiner

    You forgot the b2-spirit crash …and this one costs a lot more than those russian birds …. in fact you can at least buy a dozen of su35 with its price tag !

    • IHTFP

      Well you forgot Air France Flight 447, which also isn’t Russian and didn’t crash in the past month.

      • Big Ger

        That has nothing to do with this article

    • IHTFP

      If you were replying to lance or duker, then ignore my reply about Air France.

  • blight_

    It’ll encourage the warhawks, which forget that Russia has almost as many nukes as we do. And even if they are at treaty limit, that’s still enough nukes to put us back into the 1800’s.

    • NUCM

      Maybe it is time to let the nukes fly, burn it all down and start over.

      The fire purifies, brother.

      • Jay

        Yeah but who is going to be around to inherit all that highly irradiated desert? Fallout is not just a stupid computer game.

      • blight_adfasdf

        Looking forward to the mass starving that sets in afterwards. Europe probably lost a third of its population with the collapse of the Roman Empire.

        Second dark ages sounds like an adventure, until you realize that your children will probably starve to death.

        • miles

          It was the Black Death (Bubonic plague) that killed a Third of Europe.

  • Robbie

    Is it a symptom of equipment condition or of ramped-up ops tempo? If the latter, and the other Russian branches are equally active, some new aggression may be brewing. Have they also delayed releasing conscripts at the end of their enlistment?

  • bbabbitt

    IT’s Bush’s fault!

  • Ziv

    Well, we lost an F-16 today, I was going to be flippant about it, but 2 dead in the Cessna 150 make that something I couldn’t do.
    RIP gentlemen.
    At least the F-16 pilot looks to be ok.

  • bart ninja

    at least the Russian planes do not suffocate their pilots like the F-22.

    • The one armed man

      That got fixed awhile ago.

      • oblat

        Never fixed just shoved under the carpet

        • DontBringMeDown

          “F-22 Raptor stealth jets to get automatic backup oxygen systems to prevent new hypoxia-like symptoms” April 9th 2014.

  • ohwilleke

    Spin 1: Higher pace of operations means more crashes. Be scared.

    Spin 2: Global isolation means less access to quality repair resources. Relax a little.

    I don’t know enough to know which of the above is true (and they aren’t necessarily inconsistent).

    • Stratege

      Global isolation of Russia is a big pile a B.S.

  • msgingram

    I seriously doubt anyone on this side of the fence knows how many hours each one of those aircraft had on it, the maint. records, or much else when they crashed. I doubt the information posted on this site as to accuracy for any of the information on the crashes unless something is posted through a site that has all the information NTSB or similar operations from such a international organization. If the information posted is correct the sales of the products would plummet and that is not happening.

  • doctordave777

    It’s all Obama’s fault … thanks Obama.

  • BlackOwl18E

    In America, you can take the aircraft down. In Soviet Russia, the aircraft can take down you!

  • Stan

    Khabarovsk is almost as far from western Russia as it gets.