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Saturday, October 29, 2016
Russian, U.S. Jets in Near Miss Over Syria: U.S. Officials
Aboard a US military aircraft (AFP) – A Russian fighter flew dangerously close to a US warplane over eastern Syria, US defence officials said Friday, highlighting the risks of a serious mishap in the increasingly crowded airspace.
The near miss occurred late on October 17, when a Russian jet that was escorting a larger spy plane manoeuvred in the vicinity of an American warplane, Air Force Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigan said.
The Russian jet came to “inside of half a mile”, he added.
Another US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity , said the American pilot could feel the turbulence produced by the Russian jet’s engines.
“It was close enough you could feel the jet wash of the plane passing by,” the official said.
It appeared the Russian pilot had simply not seen the US jet, as it was dark and the planes were flying without lights.
“I would attribute it to not having the necessary situational awareness given all those platforms operating together,” Harrigan said.
The incident raises serious questions about the extent to which pilots are able to track the complex airspace they operate in. READ MORE