One of the two pilots ejected from the cockpit and deployed his parachute. But only one parachute was seen opening, and the plane, a two-seater JH-7 “Flying Leopard” jet, burst into flames as it crashed.
The surviving pilot suffered only minor injuries, but his comrade appeared to have been trapped, Xinhua news agency said, citing eyewitnesses and He Liang, a member of the organization committee. No one on the ground was hurt as the plane crashed into a swamp more than 2 kilometers from the nearest onlookers at Neifu Airport in Pucheng County.
Obviously, this isn’t great news for a homegrown attack aircraft meant to symbolise China’s expansion of its military reach. This is the second major crash of the JH-7: In a Sino-Russian military exercise which took place in July 2009, both pilots failed to eject in a similar crash.
Watch the video of yesterday’s crash here.