Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remains of Thai Air Force F-16 Pilot Found at Tak Crash Site

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The body of a Royal Thai Air Force pilot has been found in the wreckage of an F-16 fighter jet which went down in the rural northern province of Tak on Monday.

Thailand, the 19th of October 2010: The jet, an RTAF F-16 went down earlier on Monday morning after having left the Nakhon Sawan Air Force Base on a scheduled training mission.

Piloted by Flight Lieutenant Thanikorn Luangrungwaree [31], whose body has since been found in the wreckage, the plane went down during bad weather in Den Mai Sung village, Ban Tak, Tak province. Shortly before the accident, the plane disappeared from radar screens before crashing into a mountainous region of the northern province.

Royal Thai Air Force Commander Itthiporn Supawong has ordered the Air Safety Committee to inspect the crash site and investigate the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, officials from Air Force Bases in Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai and Nakhon Sawan have been instructed to retrieve the deceased pilot’s remains and the wreckage of the aircraft in line with due process in such matters.

According to Air Force spokesman Monthon Satchukorn, Flt Lt Thanikorn and three other pilots were on a Monday morning training mission when the fighter went down, the mission included a flight from the Air Force base at Nakhon Sawan to Chiang Mai. The three other RTAF F-16 jets landed in Chiang Mai shortly after the crash.

Since 1996, 18 F-16 fighter jets have been stationed and operational at the Nakhon Sawan Air Force Base in Takhli district, maintenance and safety procedures are stringently adhered to according to RTAF sources. This is the first incident involving an F-16 in Thailand.

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