A pilot from the Colombian Air Force was killed after his plane collided with another aircraft during a training mission.
The Colombian Air Force confirmed on July 1, 2023, that veteran pilot Lieutenant Colonel Mario Andrés Espinosa González died following the crash.
According to officials the incident involving two Embraer T-27 Tucano aircraft occurred at 5:28pm, local time, at the Air Combat Command No. 2, located near to Villavicencio, in Apiay, Meta.
The tragic incident and the events leading up to the crash were captured on film by local residents.
In the footage five aircraft are seen flying in formation before two T-27 Tucano planes appear to come together and touch.
One aircraft, flown by Lieutenant Colonel Mario Andrés Espinosa González, immediately loses altitude and crashes to the ground while on fire, before a number of loud bangs can be heard.
Miraculously the other pilot appeared to maintain control of the aircraft and he subsequently made an emergency landing.
The Colombian Air Force said the pilot who survived was in a stable condition but will “continue under medical observation”.
No more crew members or people were involved in the terrible scenes that unfolded.
“The Colombian Air Force stands in solidarity with his family and extends its condolences for this irreparable loss that mourns the entire air family,” the Air Force wrote in a statement.
An inspection commission was sent to the scene in order to carry out the investigation to determine the causes of the accident.
The Colombian Air Force ended a post on its Facebook page with the words, “Pilots don’t die, they just fly higher”.
The T-27 Tucano is a low-wing, tandem-seat, single-turboprop, basic trainer with counter-insurgency capability that was developed in Brazil.