MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. The crew of the Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet that crashed outside Volgograd, Southern Russia, on Wednesday, are dead — the pilots’ bodies have been found at the crash site, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.
The jet fell seven kilometers from the runway in the Kalachevsky district of the Volgograd region. The ministry said the Su-24 flight was performed without combat ammunition load by experienced pilots with more than 1,000 logged flight hours each. Flights of this type of aircraft have been suspended until the crash causes are investigated.
"Fragments of the bodies of the crashed plane’s pilots have been found on site," said the ministry.
The Sukhoi Su-24 twin-engine frontline bomber was developed in the Soviet Union. The modified version, Su-24M, entered service in 1983 and is still in use by some former Soviet states. In 2010, the Russian Air Force decided to replace its Su-24s with modern Su-34s.