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Yu Xu

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Yu Xu
Chinese: 余旭
Yu posing for a picture with a U.S. Air Force F-16C at Langkawi, Malaysia.
Born1986 (1986)
DiedNovember 12, 2016(2016-11-12) (aged 29–30)

Yu Xu (Chinese: 余旭; 1986 – November 12, 2016)[1][2] was a Chinese pilot who served as a flight squadron leader in the August 1st aerobatic team of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

Early life

Yu was born in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern Chinese province Sichuan.[3]


Yu entered the military as a student at the PLA Air Force Aviation University in 2005, and graduated in 2009.[4][5] Sixteen women (including Yu) had graduated that year, which made her among the first women certified to fly fighter jets.[3]


Yu joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force in September 2005. Yu appeared with the other female pilots at the 2010 CCTV New Year's Gala.[3] In 2012, she was certified to fly the Chengdu J-10, single-engine jet.[1]


Yu died during an aerobatic training session on November 12, 2016 after being struck by another plane as she ejected from the J-10.[6] However, some official press reported she was unable to eject on time from her plane before it made impact with the ground.[7] Citing military sources and witnesses, said Yu ejected from her aircraft after it collided with another during the training. After the ejection, the wing of another plane hit Yu, killing her, according to a report from China Daily. Yu's male co-pilot ejected safely and survived, the report said. The other jet also landed safety. On Weibo, Yu was saluted as a hero. "Yu Xu is our most proud female pilot. Her death is a great loss for our country," wrote one poster. Her ashes were taken to Chongzhou sports center for a public commemoration: 360,000 people from all over the country came to mourn her and place flowers outside the mourning hall. The ashes of pilot Yu Xu have been returned to her hometown of Chongzhou in the southwestern province of Sichuan and placed in a cemetery for revolutionary martyrs.


  1. ^ a b Lendon, Brad (November 14, 2016). "Horrific crash kills Yu Xu, 1st woman to fly China's J-10 fighter". CNN. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  2. ^ "Chinese female pilot dies in flight training". Xinhua. November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Li, Jing (November 13, 2016). "Death of China's first female J-10 fighter pilot Yu Xu sparks call for more training". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ Lei, Zhao (November 14, 2016). "Woman fighter pilot inspired nation". China Daily. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Hersher, Rebecca (November 14, 2016). "Questions About China's Military Training After Female Fighter Pilot Dies". National Public Radio. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "China mourns first female J-10 pilot after death in training". BBC. November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  7. ^ http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/asiapacific/2016/11/13/chinese-female-fighter-pilot-dies-in-crash.html
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