Czech Pilots Worried About Fate of Russian Colleagues After Su-24 Incident


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

23rd February, 2016


Czech military pilots are desperately worried about the fate of their Russian colleagues after the plane was shot down by the Turks in November 2015 in the area of the Syrian-Turkish border, said one of the pilots of the Czech air force to Prague website ‘Novinky’, whose name in the interests of security was not revealed.

The military pilot gave an interview to a journalist in one of the Czech training centres, where combat pilots complete a two-week course on survival after getting captured by the enemy. Therefore, the pilot was presented using his nickname “Woody” so as to protect his family members.

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“Pilot “Woody” hopes that he will never have to use what is taught in courses on survival, and experience what the Russian pilots recently experienced, whose plane was shot down by the Turks”, — stated the material. The author recalls that the pilot of the Russian Su-24 bomber was shot from the ground at that moment when he was dropping by parachute; the navigator of the su-24 was later rescued.

According to a Czech pilot “Woody”, he and his colleagues are worried about this story. “For us pilots, it was very sad. Because he (Russian pilot) was still our colleague,” said “Woody”.

The website Novinky reports that the 44-year-old Czech pilot served in the army for 20 years, previously flew the Soviet-made Su-22, and later on the Czech attack aircraft L-159, and the last 10 years – jet fighter Saab JAS 39 Gripen, which the government of the Republic took on a long lease from Sweden.

“Of course, I’d love to “ride” a powerful aircraft. But for the money (cost of rent) it (Gripen) is the best jet we could get,” said the Czech pilot.

The Russian front-line Su-24 bomber was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over Syrian territory and fell four kilometers from the border with Turkey in November 2015. The Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a “stab in the back from supporters of terrorists”. Pilot Oleg Peshkov died; navigator Konstantin Murakhtin was saved. Twenty-nine year old Alexander Pozynich died during the operation to rescue the crew of the Su-24.

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