Showboating Fighter Pilot Dies After Botched Roll


Bangladeshi air force Squadron Leader Muhammed Asim Jawad died and his back-seater, his boss Wing Commander Sohan Hasan Khan, is in critical condition after the aircraft lost altitude during a series of aileron rolls and skipped off the side of the runway. After completing three rolls, the Yak-130 pancaked onto the runway at Chattogram Air Force Base and slid off the side before Jawad, 32, hauled the fighter back into the air.

Official reports from the Bangladeshi government portrayed the pilots as heroes and said the plane suffered mechanical problems before they turned it away from populated areas before ejecting. But surveillance video obtained by the Independent showed the stunting. Cellphone video showed the plane’s rear fuselage engulfed in flames before it pitched forward the crew ejected and parachuted into a river. They were rescued and taken to a hospital where Jawad later died.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. As is typical in tandem 2 seaters, the rear position ejected first. By the time the front went out, the aircraft appears to be past vertical (i.e. slightly inverted). It seems the ejection blasted him out with a slight downward trajectory into the water. It seems the old adage about “no old bold pilots” still holds true. RIP.

  2. Glad they hit upright on the runway instead of inverted. We would have two fatals.

  3. Top Gun similarities and hubris indeed. Writing checks their bodies can’t cash. End up on the silk going into the water, with one fatality. This time, it was the front seater though.

    A $15 million dollar loss in a country which can ill afford it for an absolutely purposeless maneuver. Bud Holland wasn’t just a U.S. phenomenon and it is disturbing when rogue pilot behavior is evident at the top ranks of units, as in this case (squadron leader and wing commander).

  4. I wonder how current the pilot was? I was at NAS Moffett Field when a desk jockey 04 crashed a new P3CIII doing an airshow practice. He was not legal to fly but “the” guy in the squadron.

  5. Ask any display pilot and he will tell you “Two aileron rolls is the absolute limit”, particularly with fast-jets (obviously excepting aircraft designed for aerobatics).

    • When the Navy was testing the legacy Hornets for the Blue Angels, a test pilot was doing aileron rolls. I think on the 3rd roll it departed controlled flight. And he recovered the aircraft with seconds to spare. Not sure what happened exactly. Maybe integrator windup in the control system.

  6. Botched maneuver, botched emergency bailout. This serves as another example of what not to do.