FPI / April 29, 2022
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) insists that its military forces are self-sufficient and do not rely on foreign training.
The use of Russian flight instructors is considered a Chinese military secret although it is to be expected considering that China’s pilots are training on aircraft designed by Moscow.
That secret was exposed on April 23 when a two-seat JL-10 supersonic jet trainer crashed in central China and footage recorded by local residents showed two pilots, one of whom was reported on U.S. and Chinese social media as a Russian flight instructor. It was one of two such crashes reported.
The footage from the April 23 crash showed two pilots in a field shortly after ejecting from the JL-10. They had minimal injuries, according to the Washington Times report.
One pilot, wearing a Chinese air force uniform, spoke on a cellphone with his commander in Chinese. The second pilot was a red-haired Caucasian who spoke English with an accent, according to social media reports.
“Don’t do that,” the foreign pilot said to one villager who was using a video camera.
Chinese social media described the man as a Russian flight instructor.
The JL-10 trainer is a built-in-China jet based on the Russian Yak-130 trainer and began flying in China in 2019.
Security correspondent Bill Gertz cited a Chinese dissident source as saying Russian flight instructors have been training Chinese pilots on the JL-10 for at least a year. Russian military instructors also trained Chinese pilots in conducting aircraft carrier landings.
FPI, Free Press International