China says 2 pilots killed in Su-27 fighter crash

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Associated Press

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 1:30 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 1 at 1:35 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China's Defense Ministry says two air force pilots were killed when their Russian-made Su-27 fighter crashed during a training mission.

The ministry said in a news release Monday that the plane went down on a beach near the coastal city of Rongcheng in the northern province of Shandong. It did not offer any reason for Sunday afternoon's crash and said there were no reports of damage or injuries to people on the ground.

China began purchasing Su-27s in the early 1990s and many of the planes are near the end of their expected lifespans. China also manufactured a copy of the plane. The secretive People's Liberation Army and its air force have overhauled their training in recent years to make exercises more realistic, and details about accidents are rarely released.

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