He dreamed of an F-16: a famous Ukrainian JUICE pilot and two other pilots died in a plane crash in Zhytomyr region. Photo
On the eve of the Day of Ukrainian Aviation, a tragedy struck: a well-known Ukrainian pilot, Andriy Pilshchikov, with the call sign "Juice", died in a crash. It happened during a collision between L-39 combat trainer aircraft over Zhytomyr region, and two other pilots died along with Juice.
This was reported by the press service of the Ukrainian Air Force. The agency urged not to manipulate information about the tragedy and to wait only for official sources.
"We regret to inform you that a terrible plane crash occurred in the Zhytomyr region on 25 August 2023. The crews of two L-39 combat trainer aircraft collided in the sky while performing a combat mission. Unfortunately, all three pilots were killed," the ministry wrote.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the circumstances of the death of the three Ukrainian pilots. The preliminary classification of the offence is violation of flight rules or preparation for them (Article 416 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), which provides for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
"Particular attention will be paid to the technical condition of the aircraft and compliance with flight preparation rules. Specialised experts will conduct a thorough diagnosis of the black boxes," the investigators said.
"Our acquaintance was not long, but I am grateful to you for your important life lessons and drive, which will definitely remain in the Air Force and will become a driving force for a new generation of pilots. You dreamed of an F-16 and waited for the news of its delivery. You loved your bird and literally lived in the sky. RIP!" - wrote Pavlo Potseluev, a friend of Juice, in his obituary on Facebook.
Juice was a MiG-29 fighter pilot. With the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion, he defended Ukraine's skies. He participated in the air defence of Kyiv.
He has been interviewed by leading Western media outlets, including The Washington Post, Financial Times CNN, Fox News and BBC News. In them, he urged the allies to start delivering American F-16 fighter jets, and explained in detail how they would affect the advantage of Ukrainian troops over the enemy.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, 21-year-old soldier Roman "Voron" (Raven) Kuzhel from the city of Rivne was killed in the fighting for Ukraine. The guy stood up to defend his country from the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion, and planned to get married after the war.