Taiwan Pauses Air Force Training After Cadet Dies in Jet Crash
© AP PhotoIn this image taken from video, Taiwanese Air Force F-16V fighter jets taxi along a runway during a drill in Chiayi in southwestern Taiwan, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Taiwan's Air Force pilots drilled on Wednesday to simulate an interception of Chinese aircraft into Taiwan's air defense identification zone. (AP Photo)
© AP Photo
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Taiwan halted flight training and grounded its fleet of aging AT-3 jets after a 23-year-old cadet died in a crash during a solo mission early on Tuesday, a military official told media.
Second Lieutenant Hsu Ta-Chun was operating a domestically built jet trainer when it crashed in a field near Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, air force chief of staff Huang Chih-wei told the Focus Taiwan news agency.
The Air Force Academy has suspended all missions while the military is investigating the crash, the most recent in a string of air disasters that have plagued AT-3s, the news agency said. The jets have been involved in 15 accidents that have killed 10 pilots, it added.
Hsu’s jet vanished from radars minutes after taking off. He reportedly said the plane was operating normally shortly before the signal was lost. He is said to have logged only 116 flying hours, 24 of them on AT-3s.