General public should hold correct view on military training accidents
A Su-27 fighter of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) crashed during the flight training on March 31, 2013, and two pilots were killed.
In this regard, a military expert, who was interviewed, explained three main reasons for airplane crash and expressed that this crash of the Su-27 fighter was not due to the aging of the fighter.
According to the expert, the Su-27 fighter is a trainer-type aircraft brought in from Russia in the 1990s. The life cycle of its usage has not reached 20 years and it is still within the scope of its service life. Therefore, the issue should exclude the aging factor.
Based on the expert's analysis according to accident pictures, the wreckage of the fighter was rather complete, and it can be preliminarily determined that the fighter was in a boundary controllable state prior to the crash. If the fighter had been fully out of control, the pilots would have decided early to parachute. However, in such a boundary controllable state, there was a larger room for decision-making that the pilots might feel it was still possible to save the fighter, though they eventually failed to do so despite various efforts.
The expert speculated that in such a case, the possibility of manmade causes for the accident was pretty scanty, while the most probable reason might be the damage or malfunction of the fighter. Internal causes may include the breakdown of main components such as the engine or the flight control system, which made it difficult to control the fighter. External causes may include damages done by foreign objects. In the expert's view, the pilots might be attempting for a forced landing. Presently, it is hard to judge whether the cause of their deaths was delayed parachuting or failure of the ejection system. However, both possibilities do exist.
Dai Xu, military expert and president of the Marine Security and Cooperation Research Institute, stated it is unavoidable for any military service of any armed forces around the world to have training accidents. This is the price that must be paid for improving combat effectiveness. Recently, Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), proposed the capability to fight and win battles for the military. Currently, all the troop units focus on fighting and start a new upsurge in military training.
With a view to this, the military should of course follow laws of science and try to reduce the accident rate while improving its combat effectiveness. As for the general public in an age of network, people should pay more respect to the servicemen who are in high-risk occupations, and try to understand the training accident in the light of the spirit of sacrifice. People should get as accustomed to news of military accidents in peace time as to the battle casualties in wartime.
Source: News – 9 April 2013
Photo: The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker Fighter Aircraft crashed (Photo by NSI)