Wednesday, September 10, 2014

No, Chinese test pilots have not been lost during carrier development.

Western Media and "Talking Head" pundits take note!

From CDF member "xian":

Recently there have been news reports that PLANAF lost two test pilots during J-15 carrier testing and qualififcation. ([url=]here[/url], and [url=]here[/url])

These reports are clearly wrong and based on a poor translation of a unit citation published for the China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) flight test squadron at Xian: original Chinese news.

Below is the full text of the unit citation.

A better translation of the citation text shows the loss of life is one item in a list of meritorious actions, two test pilots died in the history of that "Hero" flight test squadron, not associated with J-15 testing:
This citation notes that for a long time, the unit contributed to the development of national aviation and the construction of a powerful air force, officers and soldiers have always maintained a strong fighting spirit; actively exploring the theory involved in the design, test flight, successful completion of test flight missions, filling gaps in the aviation sector; consciously resisting the temptations, calmly facing the danger of death, and challenges of equipment and physiological limits, where two comrades lost their lives. Of note is the successful completion of the J-15 aircraft implementing landing and take off from the Liaoning ship, making a significant contribution to the task.

Specifically, achievements of that particular squadron cited includes testing the J-15, and also notes two test pilots have been killed in past from that squadron.

Additionally Global Times specifically denies that the deaths resulted from J-15 testing.

Military sources told reporters, the cited unit had pilots who participated in carrier aircraft flight, but their death was from previous flight tests, no one died during carrier-based aircraft testing.

We already know when two pilots from the CFTC were killed:

-1994 while testing a JH-7 prototype:

-2011 flying a JH-7 at the China International General Aviation Convention (CIGAC):

So, sorry "experts", China has not yet lost any test pilots during carrier testing and qualification.

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