Home » Aviation » VIDEO: Russian Fighter Buzzes U.S. Navy Surveillance Plane Over Black Sea


VIDEO: Russian Fighter Buzzes U.S. Navy Surveillance Plane Over Black Sea

US Navy image of a Russian Su-27 fighter buzzing a EP-3E surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea on Jan. 29, 2017.

The U.S. Navy released footage from a Monday intercept of an EP-3E Aries II surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea.

The footage shows a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter race past a camera on the Aries II with what appears to be a full weapons loadout.
In a Monday statement, the Navy said the fighter came within five feet of the EP-3E.

“This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27’s jet wash,” read a statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.
“The duration of the intercept lasted two hours and 40 minutes.”

  • nkawtg

    I’m a monkey’s uncle if that’s 5 feet.
    More like 50 feet.

    • Kelby Sanders

      The article doesn’t claim that this video clip shows the jet coming within 5 feet. The writer, and the Navy’s statement, claims that the whole ordeal lasted about 2 hours and 40 minutes and that the Su-27 came within 5 feet at some point during it all. But even with that understood, unless you know exactly what the focal length is of the lens that captured this video, and where that camera is located on the body of the plane, you can’t say with any certainty how far away that Su-27 was in this video clip.

    • El Kabong

      Have a banana. LOL!

      Where in the article does it state this exact video shows them at 5ft?

    • Horn

      There’s distortion of the image via the camera lense. Also, the location of the camera is unknown. That means that you can’t see how close the jet got to the wing tips. The wings of a P-3 are almost 100ft long. ~50ft like you claim would be within an unsafe distance from the aircraft.

    • D. Jones

      5 metric feet.

  • bruce march

    Probably Lost!

  • kye154

    The video shows the SU-27 was NOT 5 feet away of the EP-3. There is a good way to mathematically measure the distance between the 2 planes by using the Su-27’s known length, which is 72 feet long. You can then use trigonometry to figure the distance, by calculating the angles of the nose and tail of the SU-27 in relation to its length. This plane was at its closest point of approach 230 feet away, as it passed just ahead of the starboard wing, not dead ahead. Also, the EP-3 was on a course of 270, and the SU-27 appears to be on a general course of approximately 215 degrees. With all the electronic gear on the EP-3, recording the interception, and to do the math for them, why couldn’t the Navy have been a little more “factual” than what they were. Also, why didn’t the EP-3 pilot nose down to avoid the SU-27’s wash? Oh, he was flying on autopilot. You can easily tell that by his steady heading of 270.

    • David412

      Maybe the clip you spent your time on didn’t show the closest approach.

    • SDW

      When will we be seeing your recalculations based on the additional video? (I’m not holding my breath and not just because your disinformation has such an unpleasant odor.)
      You are able to determine the course or even heading of the SU-27? I don’t think so.
      The EP-3 Pilot didn’t perform any maneuvers. The international protocol is to fly straight and level. I bet the SU-27 pilot knew that and even counted on it to avoid losing his ride. Anyone out there think that the Russian pilot was freelancing? This smells like Tsar Vladi.

  • RDF

    Hope they didn’t spill their coffee. Fighters never go anywhere alone. Wingman at six.

  • kye154

    The Latitude and Longitude shown on the right hand side of the video is also indicative of why the Russians were upset. The EP-3 was flying on a westernly course from Novorossiyck heading out to sea southeast of Sevastopol. In other words, it was leaving Russian territorial air-space near Novorossiyck. This is easy to plot, simply by using Google earth. And, it appears by the change in longitude, it was flying at something aorund 360 to 380 knots, (An EC-3’s maximum speed is 411 kts), or about 30 minutes into the flight from the coastline it came from. Here again, is proof by their own video, that the Navy is being more “Fatuous” than “Factual”,

    • Obama’s boyfriend

      What bogwash.

    • David412

      Oh BS, the US Navy isn’t going to be penetrating Russian airspace unless there is a war going on. If the EP-3 was in Russian airspace, I believe they’d have shot it down.

    • SDW

      The EP-3 was never in “Russian territorial airspace”. Repeating that manure is not going to make it so. When the video was taken, the EP-3 was at least 200 miles from Novorossiyk, Russia and 100 from Sevastopol, Ukraine. More manure. Saying that the EP-3 was flying at 360+ kts is a non-issue. Are you trying to say that since the EP-3 (may) have been flying at that speed during the dangerous intercept that it must therefore have been flying at that speed for the entire flight? Do you offer some plot of the course and speed over the Black Sea or is this just an exercise in seeing how many fallacies and vodka-induced fantasies you can squeeze into a single post?

  • John Locke

    The video was taken by the EO/IR gimbal in the belly aft of the wings.
    Regardless, is the video in this article of the full encounter? If not then it’s impossible to discount a 5ft separation based on this video.

    • kye154

      Regardless of whatever gimbal the video was shot from, from the EP-3, there is still a trigonomic function that can be used to determine the actual distance accurately. If we assume the SU-27 was indeed 5 feet from the EP-3, then the frame of the video at closest point of approach would have been filled entirely by the fuselage of the SU-27.. This video does not show that. The wingspan of the SU-27 is 48 feet and the fuselage is 72 feet long, which is certainly no small plane.

      • David412

        What, do you need this in CAPS? “is the video in this article of the full encounter”

        Answer: No, more video was released today. That clip show the SU was very close indeed. Besides, 5 feet or 50 feet, either distance is too close for a routine intercept in international airspace.

      • SDW

        Now you are saying that the SU-27 had to be within five feet of the EO/IR for it to what, count as being too close? That is almost as absurd as saying that since the SU-27 was not five feet from the centerline of the fuselage the USN was lying. Oh, wait, that’s what you just said! As if the SU-27, by your definition, had been only 45 feet away from the centerline it wouldn’t have counted as close even though both aircraft would have ended up in the water. For someone so fond of mathematics, your attempts to obscure just don’t add up.
        You are trying to dodge the facts that the EP-3 was far from legitimately-defined territorial waters and the SU-27 piloted his aircraft unsafely close to another aircraft legally entitled to be there. Move on to the next topic on today’s list.

  • szőlősi

    Épp hogy érintette .. Nem lenne szerencsés ha szembefordulna egymásnak a két hatalom .

  • Robb Santos

    lock and load…

  • John B. Morgen

    The United States Navy should do the same to Russian aircraft and ships, we’d too can be just as polite as they are to us.