Taiwan Air Force pilot dies in trainer jet crash

A Taiwanese air force AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung trainer jet crashed, resulting in the death of a pilot, according to local media reports. 

The incident occurred during the morning of May 31, 2022, in the airspace of Gangshan District. 

According to Focus Taiwan, the aircraft disappeared from radar five minutes after take-off. The district’s fire department found the wreckage and identified the body of the pilot.  

The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) immediately suspended all training flights in response to the crash, according to a report by Reuters 

This is the third ROCAF aircraft to crash this year, and the second to result in the death of a pilot.  

In January 2022, a newly introduced ROCAF F-16V fighter jet crashed into the sea off the coast of Taiwan during a training mission. In March 2022, a ROCAF Mirage 2000 crashed due to a mechanical problem, although the pilot managed to eject and was later rescued. 

The AIDC AT-3 is Taiwan’s domestically built advanced jet trainer produced between 1984-1989 in collaboration with Northrop. More than 60 AT-3s have been manufactured. According to the Aviation Safety Network’s Aviation Safety Database results, at least 14 jets of this type have been lost in various accidents since 1990.

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