A Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 combat aircraft narrowly avoided a more serious accident when it landed short and collided with a traffic sign during an expedient tactical airstrip training exercise on Thursday, August 27, 2020, in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Air Force fighter jets have practiced for rough landings on improvised runways, as a part of trials to use roads for emergency landings and to demonstrate the capability to swiftly assemble air power to counter any threat.
Two Sukhoi Su-27 heavy fighter jets of the Ukrainian Air Force landed on the main road connecting the capital, Kyiv, with Chop on Thursday.
In the footage below, published by numerous witnesses on social media, you can see Su-27s performing their drills on what is known as Highway M06, a Ukrainian international highway connecting Kyiv to the Hungarian border near Chop.
One of the fighter jets miscalculated the landing point and almost landed on the head of people and police cars. The Su-27 fighter also knocked down a road sign during landing, which could lead to a fatal crash.
A photo in several social media posts and news reports showed the Su-27 involved in the incident, apparently back at an airfield, with the bent traffic sign wrapped around the intake inlet on the aircraft’s left side.
Many Russian-built aircraft, such the MiG-29, are equipped with a ventilated cover that lowers over their intakes at landing speeds to prevent the ingestion of foreign objects into the engine when operating from unimproved areas such as a highway or field. The Su-27 involved in this incident did not appear to be equipped with an anti-foreign object damage cover on its intakes, meaning the aircraft’s engine could have sustained damage had the sign gone directly into the intake instead of being lodged on its edge.
The Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ is a twin-engine fighter jet designed to deploy heavy payloads and high speeds while remaining famously maneuverable. The UAF inherited around 70 SU-27s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.