A bird strike is thought to have caused the recent Royal Thai Air Force F-5 fighter jet crash, which saw the pilot suffering injuries after being ejected from the plane. The Air Vice Marshal, Prapas Sornchaidee, says a large bird struck the plane, confirming Wing Commander and pilot, Suthimet Ouamdee’s statement. He says he was forced to eject from the plane and told his wife that a large object had struck and broke the cockpit windshield, splashing blood all over the cockpit, making him lose control.
Last Friday saw the fighter jet crashing into a rice field in Chai Badan district of Lop Buri, in central Thailand. Prapas said the plane was flying around 1,000 km/her, which blasted air and debris through the broken windshield, making it impossible to save. But, he said the RTAF inspectors will continue their investigation into the crash’s cause. The jet was participating in the annual live firing competition when the accident occurred.
The fighter jet, from Wing 21, crashed into a training field at 11am last Friday, leaving the pilot seriously injured and admitted to the hospital. The RTAF has a fleet of 19 F-5s that are based in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani. The RTAF says this particular plane was over 40 years old, but was property maintained. The air force head expressed his sincere sympathy to the injured pilot.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World