On Tuesday 1st March 2022 news broke that Colonel Oleksandr Oksanchenko ,, reportedly nicknamed “Grey Wolf” a Ukrainian air force fighter pilot, was killed while defending his country’s capital from Russian fighter jets. President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Oksanchenko with the title of Hero of Ukraine. Confirming the news today, Ukraine’s government it lost “one of the best fighter pilots in the world” while trying to divert enemy aircraft. Unconfirmed reports say he lost his life on Friday night when his jet was shot down by a Russian S-400 mobile surface to air missile (SAM) with NATO name as SA-21 Growler.
He was in Malta as part of the Ukrainian Air Force Team for the 2016 Malta International Airshow of which they took part for the first time with 2 x SU-27 Flanker aircraft assisted by an IIyushin II-76MD transport aircraft.
Oksanchenko had gained international fame as the Su-27 Flanker display pilot with the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade from Myrhorod air base, taking part at various European air shows including SIAF, Royal International Air Tattoo and the Czech International Air Fest. In particular, at RIAT 2017, flying the Sukhoi Su-27P1M he received the ‘As the Crow Flies’ Trophy (FRIAT Trophy), for the best overall flying demonstration as judged by members of the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo.
He had retired from active duty back in 2018 but continued to serve as a trainer up until he voluntarily returned to active duty following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week.
831 бригада тактичної авіації / 831s tactical aviation brigade Sukhoi Su-27P Flanker Blue 58 during Malta International Airshow 2016
Sukhoi Su-27UB Flanker Blue 71 during Malta International Airshow 2016
IIyushin II-76MD transport aircraft 78820 during Malta International Airshow 2016
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Wednesday 2nd March, 2022