Home > Local News > Air force seeks clues to crash of F16 jets

Air force seeks clues to crash of F16 jets

Air force commander Ithaporn Suphawong has ordered an inquiry into the crash of two F16 fighters in Chaiyaphum.

The wreckage of an F16 fighter lies in a forested area in Chaiyaphum
province. Two Royal Thai Air Force F16s taking part in the Cobra Gold
2011 exercise crashed into the forest near Tat Tone waterfall
yesterday. Both pilots managed to eject to safety.
Two pilots were forced to eject from the 4 billion baht jet fighters
yesterday when they crashed during the Thai-US Cobra Gold joint
military exercise.
Air force spokesman Monthon Satchukorn said the warplanes were part
of a fleet of four one-seat F16 ADFs (air defence fighters) that took
off from Wing1 in Nakhon Ratchasima at about 9am.
The ill-fated F16s lost contact with ground control at 10.20am and
were later reported to have plummeted into the forest near Tat Tone
waterfall, about 20km north of Chaiyaphum.
AVM Monthon said villagers who live near the waterfall alerted the
authorities about the crash. Search and rescue helicopters and land
vehicles were immediately sent to the area.
He confirmed news reports the pilots managed to jettison to safety before their planes crashed.
AVM Monthon said details of the crash were not yet available as the authorities still had to interview the pilots.
He dismissed speculation the jets were involved in a mid-air
collision. If that were the case, the pilots might not have had enough
time to eject.
The crash occurred as tensions along the Cambodian border remained high.
Military personnel examine a wing of one of the two F16 fighters.

Two F16 jets were spotted last Thursday near the border in Si Sa
Ket’s Kantharalak district where there have been clashes between Thai
and Cambodian troops over the past two weeks.

The air force insisted the two jets were taking part in Cobra Gold
but admitted they had flown too close to the border during the military
drill.

The air force spokesman brushed off a rumour that there could be a
supernatural cause of the crash. “Do not believe in this sort of thing.
I can’t see how the crash could be related to that [black magic]. This
is science: an engine problem perhaps, not superstition.”

Bangkok Post
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Categories: Local News
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