Taiwanese Air Force Pilot Dies in Third Jet Crash of 2022

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A Taiwanese air force training jet crashed in the southern city of Kaohsiung during a training mission on May 31, killing the 23-year-old pilot aboard, according to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

The domestically-developed AT-3 trainer, piloted by Lt. Hsu Ta-chun on his second solo flight, disappeared from radar minutes after takeoff at 8:03 a.m., Taiwan News reported.

The Kaohsiung City Fire Bureau received reports of a plane crash in the Gangshan District and sent firefighters to the scene, but the pilot was found dead.

Air force chief of staff Huang Chih-wei told reporters that the AT-3 had no major maintenance issues over the past year.

The air force has suspended flight missions for its trainee pilots following the fatal jet crash. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has also directed authorities to conduct an investigation into the incident.

This is the third jet crash to occur in Taiwan in 2022. In March, a Mirage 2000 fighter jet crashed into the sea off the island’s southeast coast. The pilot was rescued alive.

In January, the air force suspended combat training for its F-16 fleet after an upgraded model of the fighter jet crashed into the sea, killing the pilot.

Taiwan’s air force has repeatedly had to scramble to see off Chinese military aircraft in the past two years, but the accidents have not been linked in any way to these intercept activities.

China, which claims the self-governed island as its own, has been routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense zone.

Taiwan’s military said it detected 30 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defense zone on May 30, the largest incursion since January 2022, when China sent 39 warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace territorial zone.

Taiwan responded by deploying its air force and air defense missile systems to monitor the Chinese aircraft movements, according to the Defense Ministry’s statement.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldgra Fredly

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Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer based in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.





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