The jet went into a downward spiral before the crash
United Aircraft Corporation (Russia) reported to Ria Novosti on December 24 that a Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet had crashed during a test flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Region, 111 km from the home airfield, which also hosts a Sukhoi plant. The aircraft’s emergency system responded in the normal mode and the pilot ejected safely. A special commission will establish the causes of the crash.
The Su-57 had entered a downward spiral at the altitude of 8 km and the pilot’s attempts to fly out of it failed, a source in the aircraft construction industry told TASS on Wednesday.
“The Su-57 was performing a test flight at the altitude of 8,000 metres. After the control system had failed, the fighter jet spontaneously entered a downward spiral and started descending and then crashing,” the source said.
According to the source, the pilot tried to switch the aircraft to a horizontal flight in a manual mode, but his efforts failed. “At a critical altitude of 2,000 metres the pilot decided to eject,” he said.
On Tuesday, a source in the defence industry told TASS that most likely the jet’s tail control failed.
A source in military medical circles told TASS that the doctors had examined the pilot and found no injuries. He has been discharged from hospital.
The aircraft had not yet been delivered to the Russian Air Force and was still the property of Sukhoi. Similar aircraft have been tested in combat in Syria.
This is the first crash of Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 stealth fighter jet, which carries the NATO code “Felon”.
This aircraft is the Russian equivalent of the American F-35 built by Lockheed Martin, but seems to have superior performances (top speed 2600 km/h vs 1930 km/h for the F-35, range 2150 km vs 1138 km) for a lower price (50 million US dollars).