Bird strike blamed for F-5 fighter jet crash

08-Dec-2021 Intellasia | BangkokPost | 5:02 AM Print This Post

A bird strike was the probable cause behind the crash of an F-5 fighter jet last Friday during training in Lop Buri’s Chai Badan district, injuring the pilot, according to Air Force spokesman AVM Prapas Sornchaidee on Monday.

AVM Prapas said he was informed by his investigation team that the 36-year-old pilot, W/Cdr Sutthimet Ouamma, was recovering well.

The pilot suffered two broken legs and a broken left arm in the accident.

W/Cdr Sutthimet asked his wife to help write a letter about why he needed to eject from the jet after flying the aircraft away from residential areas.

AVM Prapas said W/Cdr Sutthimet said in the letter that as he was flying, a hard object, presumed to be a large bird, slammed into the jet’s canopy, causing it to shatter and break off.

Immediately after that, he was splatted with the animal’s remains and was unable to control the jet that was at that time flying at about 800km/hr.

After W/Cdr Sutthimet ejected, the jet crashed near a large lake in a training area in tambon Bua Chum of Chai Badan district.

Debris was scattered over the area and the authorities cordoned off the wreckage and the immediate surrounding area.

The ejected pilot was rushed to Chai Badan Hospital in Lop Buri where he was first treated for his injuries. He remains in a stable condition and is now receiving medical treatment at Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in Bangkok.

AVM Prapas said W/Cdr Sutthimet wrote in the letter that he apologised to the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Air Force for being unable to land the jet safely at an airport.

The air force chief has expressed his deep concern for the injured pilot.

A source said the plane was almost 40 years old but had undergone proper maintenance.

The air force had a fleet of 19 F-5s based in Ubon Ratchathani province.


Category: Thailand

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