Vietnam's military aircraft crash into sea after collision, 2 pilots missing

By Thanh Nien Staff, Thanh Nien News

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 A file photo of a Su-22M4. Photo: Tan Tu

Two military aircraft allegedly collided with each other during a training session off the coast of the central province of Binh Thuan on Thursday, with the fate of the two pilots still unknown.
The Russian-made fighter jet Su-22M4 were believed to crash into the East Sea about 10 to 15 nautical miles north of Phu Quy Island.
Air controllers lost contact with the pilots at around 11.35 a.m., Major General Do Minh Tuan, Vice Commander of the Vietnam Air Force, said this afternoon.
So far rescuers have found three fuel tanks and pieces of a parachute. Traces of oil were also spotted near the accident site.
The two pilots reportedly parachuted into the sea, according to media reports. The Air Force Command, however, refused to confirm the information.
The search and rescue mission is going on.
Vietnam is believed to have 38 Su-22 still in service.
On March 26, a military helicopter, also produced during Soviet ear, crashed when it was about to land on Phu Quy Island, but all men all board survived.
Two previous crashes involved a Russian Mi-171 and a US-built UH-1, and killed 24 military personnel in total.

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