Losses and Aviation Safety

Shocking cockpit footage shows two Russian Su-27s buzzing USAF B-52 Over Black Sea

The Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude.

Taken at approximately 11:19 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2020, the shocking video in this post features two Russian Su-27 Flanker pilots intercepting a US Air Force B-52 bomber that was conducting routine operations in the Black Sea over international waters.

According to US Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa press release, the Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude and while in afterburner causing turbulence and restricting the B-52’s ability to maneuver.

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“Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents,” he added.

The USAF B-52 Stratofortress aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace exercising our freedom of navigation and overflight. The U.S. Air Force routinely operates aircraft in the region in accordance with recognized international safety standards as prescribed in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules of flight.

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As already reported, Six B-52H Stratofortresses from 5th Bomb Wing in support of a long-planned bomber training mission, arrived at RAF Fairford, England on Aug. 24, 2020. 

The presence of the B-52 Stratofortress at RAF Fairford enables the U.S. to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency to operate at and in austere environments abroad and at home.

The B-52s are operated by the 23rd Bomb Squadron, and are long-range nuclear and conventional heavy bombers. They can perform a variety of missions at subsonic speeds at high altitudes with a combat range of 8,800 miles while carrying precision-guided ordnance with worldwide precision navigation.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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