SU-25 Frogfoot Mid-Air

buffnut453

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There's no way that was a mid-air collision. The lead Su-25 is too far in front. I think it's far more likely either a structural failure of the port wing or an engine failure (again, likely port side) of the rear Su-25.

Just my two penn'orth having looked at this a couple of times.
 

FLYBOYJ

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Discussed on another thread. I really doubt this was a mid air and agree with buffnut453 buffnut453 . The element leader was out in front and the wingman (the guy who crashed) stayed at his 45 (right where he should be). The wingman would have had to accelerate along side the lead (or the lead throttle back) to make contact, and this shouldn't happen if they just lifted off, full power and were maintaining the same rate or angle of climb.
 

MIflyer

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Well, they do zoom in and show serious damage to the Left wing of the aircraft that crashed.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I agree that a midair doesn't seem likely. It does seem to have damage on the port wing outboard the pylons, but with that footage it seems impossible to say what caused it. With smaller planes like these I doubt wake-turb could impose those sorts of forces sufficient to break the wing.

Going by physics alone, the lost aircraft, being on the outside of the turning pair, would have to seriously speed up in order to catch the leader and establish the collision vector. I can't say that didn't happen, but I also can't say why the pilot would do that in the first place, because it makes no sense.

Whatever happened, that puff of smoke right before the loss of control and impact must have something to do with it.
 

FLYBOYJ

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I took this from the back of an L29 during an airshow at Cochran Airport (KTRM) many years ago. This is a very tight 3 ship and this position was maintained during take off and climb out. The guy on the far left seemed to be aligned with the lead, we looked slightly low, but despite this all 3 aircraft were maintaining the same climb. The only way we were going to become even with the lead is if he slowed down as we were all peddling at the same time!

1663033529444.jpeg
 

elbmc1969

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Going by physics alone, the lost aircraft, being on the outside of the turning pair, would have to seriously speed up in order to catch the leader and establish the collision vector. I can't say that didn't happen, but I also can't say why the pilot would do that in the first place, because it makes no sense.

Whatever happened, that puff of smoke right before the loss of control and impact must have something to do with it.
Needs to speed up to hold position, inexperienced pilot slams the throttle forward causing an old-generation engine to stall somehow?

I've seen a lot of commentary that the pilot couldn't have ejected, but if you watch carefully, there's a bright flash from the cockpit at 0:20 one frame before the camera swing takes the Sukhoi out of the frame.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Needs to speed up to hold position, inexperienced pilot slams the throttle forward causing an old-generation engine to stall somehow?

This could be a good point. Or he slams the throttle forward and suddenly finds himself overtaking the leader?

Another thing I was thinking was what if the burst of smoke before the ground-impact perhaps represents a seal failing on a critical system such as hydraulics or fuel?
 

FLYBOYJ

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Needs to speed up to hold position, inexperienced pilot slams the throttle forward causing an old-generation engine to stall somehow?
No - you're at take off power and these aren't "old generation engines" (like WW2 or post war). Both aircraft had a positive rate of climb at take off. Again, a two ship take off is very basic and even with some sub-standard training at the unit level, you are not going to have that level of inexperience (if "slamming the throttle forward" was even a remote possibility), even from the Russians!
I've seen a lot of commentary that the pilot couldn't have ejected, but if you watch carefully, there's a bright flash from the cockpit at 0:20 one frame before the camera swing takes the Sukhoi out of the frame.
Had he ejected we would have seen a chute or a streamer
 

FLYBOYJ

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Another thing - the Su25 has TWO engines! Even if one stalled on take off, you "should" have enough power to maintain a positive rate of climb and deal with the emergency
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Another thing - the Su25 has TWO engines! Even if one stalled on take off, you "should" have enough power to maintain a positive rate of climb and deal with the emergency

You're a pilot and I'm not, so forgive what might be an ignorant question, but here goes: if the engine on the inside of the turn flamed out, would that affect portside lift enough to make a big difference? I mean, the engines being fuselage-mounted means that the loss of thrust on one side wouldn't seem to be terribly differential. But could it make a difference at full t/o power?

If so, it could explain at least the start of the wingover. It still wouldn't explain the apparent damage to the port wing.
 

FLYBOYJ

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You're a pilot and I'm not, so forgive what might be an ignorant question, but here goes: if the engine on the inside of the turn flamed out, would that affect portside lift enough to make a big difference? I mean, the engines being fuselage-mounted means that the loss of thrust on one side wouldn't seem to be terribly differential. But could it make a difference at full t/o power?

If so, it could explain at least the start of the wingover. It still wouldn't explain the apparent damage to the port wing.
If the thrust is on the centerline, (like the Su25) it shouldn't make much of a difference, if at all. The Su 25 engines put out over 9,000 lbs each so there plenty of power there
 

gumbyk

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You're a pilot and I'm not, so forgive what might be an ignorant question, but here goes: if the engine on the inside of the turn flamed out, would that affect portside lift enough to make a big difference? I mean, the engines being fuselage-mounted means that the loss of thrust on one side wouldn't seem to be terribly differential. But could it make a difference at full t/o power?

If so, it could explain at least the start of the wingover. It still wouldn't explain the apparent damage to the port wing.
Not in a jet without any prop-wash over the wing. The engines are close to the center-line that I wouldn't expect there to be any asymmetric thrust issues.
It looks almost like the pilot started to roll out of the turn, with a small 'bunt' at about 0:36, before starting the left roll. My thinking is that it could be control failure (aysmmetric flap retraction or similar).
However, we'll never know exactly what caused it.
 

GrauGeist

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I'm still thinking that he was hit by ground fire.

So far, no one has made it clear where these AC were operating from.

I'm not saying that the Azov mother/daughter team were in the area, but was this a FOB scramble to get clear of advancing Ukraine forces?

Context would help.
 

buffnut453

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I'm still thinking that he was hit by ground fire.

So far, no one has made it clear where these AC were operating from.

I'm not saying that the Azov mother/daughter team were in the area, but was this a FOB scramble to get clear of advancing Ukraine forces?

Context would help.

If it was an evacuation, I doubt people would be standing around videoing it. They’d be getting the hell out of Dodge.
 

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