Russian pilot faces trial over damage to Su-27 fighter jet

An experienced Russian military pilot will be tried in Russia’s Far East on charges of negligence that led to 2.4 million rubles ($81,000) in damages to an Su-27SM fighter jet, investigators said on Tuesday.

According to the investigation, Maj. Sergei Shevchenko in March 2011 “pushed the wrong button” after landing the aircraft, forcing the front wheel to retract. As a result, the nose of the plane hit the tarmac.

“It has been established that the pilot got distracted after switching off the engine, and instead of opening the canopy he pushed the button that retracts the chassis twice,” investigators said in a statement.

During the preliminary probe, the defendant admitted his negligence and was suspended from flying aircraft.

Shevchenko is facing up to seven years in prison if convicted.

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