Second Su-22 Fighter Jet Crashes in Yemen
Yemen continues to be plagued by fighter-jet accidents. On May 13, a Yemen Air Force fighter-jet exploded in mid-air over Sanaa. The Defense Ministry said the Russian-origin Su-22 combat plane then crashed into a residential district of the capital.
“The Defense Ministry established a panel to investigate the incident,” the ministry said.
The statement said the Su-22 ground attack jet was returning from a training mission in the eastern provinces of Khawlan and Maarib. The ministry said the pilot was killed, but did not report additional casualties.
“There were no civilian victims except some light damage of buildings,” the ministry said. “Details and reasons behind the accident will be disclosed at a later time.”
This marked the second crash of an Air Force fighter in 2013. In February, at least 12 people were killed when an Su-22 struck a building in Sanaa.
The Air Force has been hampered by inadequate maintenance and a shortage of spare parts from Russian manufacturers. In 1980, Yemen acquired 48 Su-22s from the then-Soviet Union, most of which have long been removed from service.
In November 2012, a Russian-origin Antonov M-26 air transport crashed in Sanaa and all 10 people on board were killed — the second Antonov to crash in as many years. Two months earlier, a fighter-jet was downed by what the Defense Ministry termed a “technical failure.”
Source: CAIRO — WorldTribune.com News - 13 May 2013
Photo: Yemeni security forces inspect the site of a Yemeni Air Force Su-22 plane crash in Sanaa on May 13. (Photo by AP/Hani Mohammed)