SK stopped pursuing a military pilot who shot down another fighter during an exercise near Tver in 2020

The Main Military Directorate of the Investigative Committee stopped the pursuit of military pilot Vasily Savelyev, who shot down a fighter jet during an exercise. Lawyer Andrei Yakovlev told Kommersant about this.

The crash occurred on the afternoon of September 22, 2020 near the Khotilovo airfield in the Tver region, when three fighters, Su-35 pilot Savelyev , Su-30 and Su-30M2, were conducting a mock battle.

The Su-35, which was supposed to perform only photo shooting, fired five shells from an aircraft cannon on the left wing of the Su-30M2 fighter. He fell in the forest, two crew members ejected and were not injured.

According to Major Savelyev himself, a 35-year-old pilot of the 790th Air Regiment, he was sure that the air gun had been brought to a non-combat position: the aircraft was taken off combat duty a month before the exercises, and before the flight, the training log said that there were no weapons.

The pilot was charged under the article on “violation of flight rules” (351 of the Criminal Code), which involves up to seven years in prison. The Ministry of Defense estimated the damage from the crash of the Su-30M2 at 1 billion 143 million rubles.

The case against Savelyev at the end of 2021 was considered by a military court, which returned him to the prosecutor’s office. The representative of the prosecution asked about this at the first meeting. From there, the case was handed back to military investigators.

According to Kommersant, the persecution of Savelyev was stopped after a new examination, which decided that the pilot “acted correctly”, and the crash “occurred, among other things, due to the fact that outdated instructions prevented military pilots from training fully” of the Ministry of Defense and the aircraft manufacturer, the company “Dry”.

Novaya Gazeta wrote that the technical specialists who prepared the plane for departure, Senior Lieutenant Erbetkin and Warrant Officer Solomintsev, were also recognized as suspects in the crash case. What status they are in now is unknown.