Skip to comments.(LEAD) N. Korean helicopter crashes in China, killing pilot: source(actually MIG-21)
Posted on 08/17/2010 10:56:49 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
(LEAD) N. Korean helicopter crashes in China, killing pilot: source
SHENYANG, China, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean helicopter crashed in a Chinese border area, killing the pilot aboard who may have attempted to defect to Russia, intelligence sources here said Wednesday.
The crash took place in Fushun Prefecture in the province of Liaoning Tuesday afternoon, the sources said, adding the pilot was the only person in the chopper when it crashed.
"The pilot died on the spot," one source said, adding the Chinese authorities were able to identify the nationality of the helicopter only after the crash.
Chinese authorities had confirmed that a small aircraft flew into their territory but did not identify its origin.
"The helicopter unexpectedly crashed while flying over Fushun," the source said, declining to be identified. It remains unclear what the model of the aircraft was.
Another source said that the helicopter is believed to have lost its direction while flying to Russia after escaping North Korea. China has a repatriation pact with North Korea, and that may have led the pilot to choose Russia as his destination.
Fushun is about 200 kilometers away from a North Korean air base in the border town of Sinuiju. The number of North Korean soldiers defecting from their impoverished homeland has increased in recent months as food shortages deepen, observers say.
Another photo of crash site. The tail section looks like that of old MIG model.
The location of crash site. This was apparently dated by about a hour. Its title says N. Korea helicopter crashed in China.
Likely ran out of fuel. That model of Mig is a flying fuel tank, and if it had any left in it, it wouuld have burned like a blow torch.Note there is no sign of fire. The pilot pancaked it in and hit a farm hut.
Likely it was flown not by a professional pilot but by a civilian with some basic training in crop dusting. The reason is simple - it’s impossible for a professional to mistake flying to China (South) and flying to Russia (North.) You could do that by stars, by the sun, and of course by any compass. Pilots who fly these airplanes on duty know the land, can find the compass among the instruments, and can escape easily. Only a civilian can be confused enough to lose orientation and on top of that probably make a small mistake in piloting that an old military aircraft (without computers) is not likely to forgive.
The map picture shows him headed almost due north. He was flying from the southern and westernnmost point on the border.
Good observation. I’m buyin’ it. Makes you wonder about China’s radar capabilities if any of this is true. I don’t believe much of anything reported from China, which is a rare occurrence in and of itself.
As a result, I look like a fool because of the comment about the title.:-)
[As a result, I look like a fool because of the comment about the title. . .]
You’re an invaluable contributor to this site and in no way a “fool.”
You’re certainly no fool TLR..Thanks for the update info.
I doubt China spends too much attention to it’s North Korean border when it comes to air traffic. It’s not like the Norkies are going to launch an air attack.
The only "fools" are the North Koreans for keeping their people shut in, and under their jackboots!
Well, screws are getting loose from those nutcases, and based on recent development(including this crash,) they have problem keeping their joint in order.
I see the map now, thanks. Still it's weird. I checked with Google Earth, and if you fly straight North from there you have to cross a good deal of China, and it's 930 miles until you get to Russia; you will cross the border into uninhabited areas of Siberia, and you'd better know your way around to find a city with an airport (might be another 500 miles; maybe more if you want an English-speaking controller.)
On the other hand, if you fly the heading 58 degrees you will land at any number of airfields around Vladivostok after only flying 445 miles. One catch is that you'd be flying along the NK-China border, which might have a few radars. But it would be pretty foolish to assume that inner regions of China are not under some sort of air traffic control.
At this point I have no guesses what the intention of the pilot was. His route makes little sense. Maybe he intended to turn East at some point? I checked the specs on Wikipedia, and it looks like this airplane wouldn't make it anywhere but China anyway:
Like many aircraft designed as interceptors, the MiG-21 had a short range. This was not helped by a design defect where the center of gravity shifted rearwards once two-thirds of the fuel had been used. This had the effect of making the plane uncontrollable, resulting in an endurance of only 45 minutes in clean condition. The issue of the short endurance and low fuel capacity of the MiG-21F, PF, PFM, S/SM and M/MF variantsthough each had a somewhat greater fuel capacity than its predecessorled to the development of the MT and SMT variants. These had a range increase of 250 km (155 mi) compared to the MiG-21SM, but at the cost of worsening all other performance figures (such as a lower service ceiling and slower time to altitude).
Someone already commented that probably the airplane ran out of fuel - this is very likely if the range is only 100-150 miles. The distance from Dandong (NK) to Fushun (China) is 125 miles per Google Earth - sounds about right to empty the tanks, especially if the pilot is not aware of how fast that is going to happen. Considering the center of mass change as the fuel is used up, it takes a pilot who is familiar with the aircraft to fly it past the 2/3 fuel point. I'm presuming NK doesn't have later modifications that somewhat fixed this problem. But even those modifications wouldn't have the range to reach Russia.
Can we be sure those pictures are of the latest incident? Do any of the stories mention the source of the photos?
The following is the more detailed location maps culled from the network.
The MIG model presumably involved in the crash.
An update from Yonhap says: “Military experts said the plane appeared to be a MiG-15, a model widely deployed during the 1950-53 Korean War but now used mostly for training.”
See my comment #21. You can watch a Chinese news clip on this crash.
You aced this one Tiger.They misreported it purposefully
and the photos caught them in their misreporting. This is great, it shows we had the truth before the Chinese media massagers did. Come to think of it, we do the same thing now everyday with the USA MSM, which today is very much like the CHina Massaged Media.Eff them both, thats what the thread title means to me!
Thats why the MSM and the Chinese Commie media do not like us one bit.We make the ba$tards scramble to spin the truth and we still stay ahead of them! LOL.
I'm just a bit suspicious because pics "uploaded on the internet by a witness" have often been false in the past, and everyone tends to just run with them, making it more complicated to find out what actually happened in these types of incidents.
I thought it was curious early on in this story when Yonhap quoted an intel source saying it was a helicopter. Some time afterwards I saw an AP report claiming to quote locals saying it was a helicopter too.
A man who lives in Ersonggou village, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the crash site, said about 100 police have cordoned off the area.
The man, who would give only his surname Ning, told The Associated Press he heard from other locals that the craft was a helicopter that had flown from North Korea and that the pilot was killed on impact.
Ning said no buildings were hit and no one on the ground was reported injured.
Aniki? What is up
Maybe the guy just wanted OUT and saw the only chance to get OUT that he was likely ever to get.
It would be more interesting if it was a twin-seater, do they have that in NK?
If it is a trainer it would be twin seater.
The MiG-21U was built in Moscow as well as in Tbilisi.
According to this http://www.mig-21.de/english/inservice.htm#northKorea
North Korean armed forces have been massively supported with Soviet and Chinese weapon technology including - since the sixties - MiG-21s and F-7s. In its turn the DRPK military supported the Arab countries during the Yom Kippur war in 1973 with pilots and possibly also with airplanes.
Caused by the strict isolation of the country little is known about number and current state of North Korean MiG-21s and F-7s. However, it is to assume, that notwithstanding the bad economic situation of the country sufficiently material and personnel resources are available for the armed forces and that of the countries approximately 200 MiG-21 / F-7 a larger number is operational.
It was reported recently that Kazakhstan has delivered about 40 MiG-21s to North Korea via China.
Versions in overview:
MiG-21U / US
It is not certain that it was a 21U, and it could either have been a single or a twin seater. Do we have better pictures from the crash?
No new pictures yet. I suspect that PLA want to make sure that no more photos would get out. This is a frequent pattern in media censorship of China. Right after some incident, news or photos are out on Internet or news channel. Then the authorities move in and cut off the news source, or even retroactively erase posted photos or articles.
I hope that NGA got the time to take nice pictures, this will be one of the first nuts to crack for Letitia Long.
Shot in the head upon landing.
A N.Korean MiG-21 Crashed In China
Possibly a deserter. The locals at the crash site revealed on the internet that there was one man rescued by medical people. The aircraft was in rather good shape (it didn't explode), hinting insufficient fuel being the cause of crash. People at my forum have identified it as a MiG-21PF/PFM (see image).
North Korea obtained about 180 MiG-21s, including the MiG-21F-13, the MiG-21PF/PFM, and the MiG-21U/UM. Surprisingly, despite the country's close ties with China, North Korea doesn't seem to have obtained any F-7s. North Korean MiG-21s remain in first-line service.
The pilot, who was reportedly the only person onboard the plane, was killed in the incident.
Thanx for digging more info from Internet. Opinions from multiple sites(FR, S. Korea, and China) all seem to agree that the plane ran out fuel and crashed.
Some in S. Korea claims that China agreed to take over flight training of N. Korean air force, and they are doing it in Fushun area. If this is true, the plane took off from Shinuiju, flying to Fushun for training, and crashed due to insufficient fuel. So far this is just a rumor on Internet and not verified by any credible media.
“Is the rescued guy already dead?”
If the pilot survived he could give the Chinese a good look into the readiness of the NK airforce. If they say he’s dead they don’t have to return him.
This sounds just like a chinese Arkancide.
Pilot wanting to leave socialist paradise. Obviously mentally ill. Obama administration spokesman states if not killed in crash, ought to be drug tested.
It is not a MiG-15. The ident is a MiG-21.
The pilot probably tried to bail out... only to realize that their ejection seat hadn’t been worked on since the Norks bought the MiG-21 from the USSR all those many years again.
Then died on impact.
According to Kyodo News, there is a survivor from the crash who was able to parachute down to safety, quoting Hong Kong media.
Summary: A reporter from Yonhap News drove to reach the crash site in Fushun. However, the site was cordoned off by local police. Checkpoints were set up to restrict access to the site. He managed to interview witnesses and other locals. According to them, it crashed between 3 and 4 pm yesterday(Aug. 17.) It flew low and circled over the village a few times. It made some erratic noises while flying, suddenly stalled and crashed. The plane was relatively intact after the crash.
“Let me be clear...he had the right to leave but I won’t comment on whether it was wise.”
FR rocks. I too love it when we get the news out......correctly!