So that’s what it’s like to eject from a burning aircraft…


A fascinating video clip has emerged of a Russian pilot (who was wearing a personal video recorder on his chest) ejecting from his damaged Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft, after it was hit by Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire.  A tip o’ the hat to The Aviationist for publishing the video.  All the action happens in the first 30 seconds.

You can see how quickly things happen at low level.  If he’d hesitated even a second or two, the aircraft would have flipped inverted on its way to crashing, and would have fired his ejection seat straight down into the ground.  You don’t survive that, at that altitude.



  1. Usual Suspects claiming,

    "Ukraine faked this video!"
    "This was actually a Ukrainian pilot!"
    "This never happened! Don't believe your lying eyes!"
    "Putin shot this Ukrainain pilot down over Russia, all by himself, with a slingshot, while blindfolded!"

    in 3, 2, …

  2. Saw this one yesterday as well. Only thought that came to mind as he bails out and lands, was: "Dude you need to beat feet the F outta that area" Preferably not in the direction that the manpad came from.

    And good luck on figuring that part out. The smoke trail aint much and doesn't last long.

    Some real angry folks on the way to "talk to you."

  3. Aesop, are these Putin trolls in the room with us right now? 😀

    OT: I always find it impressive how they managed it to build these things that you can "safely" (or better: effectively) eject from such a low flying plane.

  4. In 76 i was in the army. 6/56 ADA assigned to an afb in germany. we had an 'incident' where a phantom came in too low. the treetops flipped him a split second before he ejected, at about 40 ft. i had a buddy that got put on the 'pieces' detail…he was never the same after that

  5. I've been told that this is actually from a training exercise last year. The plane apparently hit a power line. Given that the pilot just stands around in the field afterwards rather than making for the safety of the trees I give this credence.

  6. @Peter: the vertical stabilizer looks as if it was clear cut.
    The flame looks like the engine was stalling – which is not unlikely given the situation.

    High voltage power lines in Europa *are* several hundred feet of the ground and we don't know ho much time passed between whatever hit he took and the start of the video.

    Not saying it was a powerline, not saying it was a MANPAD or AAA.

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