Earlier this month, we showed you a video captured in Ukraine of a particularly brave pilot taking his Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer down to what appears to be under 30 feet in a high speed pass filmed by some particularly shaken cameramen on the ground. While spectacular footage of fighter jets conducting impressive maneuvers aren’t all that unusual on the internet, seeing a pilot take their multi-million dollar aircraft so low over the tails of other fighters isn’t something you’ll see everyday: as just about every national military with a wing of fighter jets tends to frown on the sort of aerobatics that destroy a bunch of them for the sake of some YouTube traffic.
But then… Ukraine doesn’t seem all that concerned about this sort of thing.
Yet another video of an incredibly dangerous low pass, this time in a different Sukhoi platform — a Su-25 Frogfoot — has surfaced out of Ukraine, suggesting that the Ukraine’s Air Force may make a habit of conducting such death defying stunts. This new footage shows a pair of Su-25s coming in low over what appears to be a military airfield. While the video itself wasn’t released with much in the way of identifying information, experts at The Aviationist suggest that it may be the Melitopol airbase in southeastern Ukraine (based on the number of Il-76MD cargo aircraft shown in the background of the clip).
Of the two aircraft, one pilot takes his Frogfoot so low people can be seen on the ground running to get out of its way. As is the case with any of these videos, determining exactly how far off the ground this Su-25 actually comes isn’t easy, but it’s certainly lower than the previous video, with the underbelly of the jet seemingly only 10-15 feet above the ground.
These videos coming out of Ukraine are certainly a hoot for those of us comfortably watching them from our laptops and smart phones, but the flurry of such videos to come from Ukrainian aviation assets seems a bit less like flights of fancy and a bit more like airborne irresponsibility following last week’s announcement of one Ukrainian and one American pilot dying when their Su-27 went down during joint NATO training operations. While details regarding that specific incident remain sparse — the steady stream of videos of pilots from that same nation’s Air Force apparently dismissing normal safety standards coupled with the loss of an American pilot aboard one of their fighters makes these videos a little harder to applaud.