Military aircraft crash kills 1 in central Vietnam: official

By VnExpress   August 25, 2016 | 07:17 pm PT
Military aircraft crash kills 1 in central Vietnam: official
The crash site where a jet trainer aircraft went down just several minutes after takeoff in Phu Yen Province. Photo by LTPB
A Czechoslovakia-era training aircraft crashes into a paddy field with two people on board.

A jet training aircraft crashed into a paddy field on the fringes of the central province of Phu Yen on Friday, reportedly killing one pilot and critically injuring one passer-by on the ground.

The Czechoslovakia-era Aero L-39 Albatros, which was on a training flight, went down just several minutes after takeoff at 8:45 a.m., Hoang Van Tra, the mayor of Phu Yen Province, said.

The sole pilot on board, Pham Duc Trung, died in the crash, Tra said; Trung was 22. The jet, operated by Vietnam Air Force's Regiment 910 in Phu Yen, crashed in Hoa Thanh Commune in Dong Hoa District. The jet's front section was damaged but the fuselage remained intact.

According to eyewitnesses, the jet crashed on National Highway 1 before plunging into the field.

Police and ambulances were seen arriving at the scene. The crash site has been cordoned off pending further investigations.

The L-39 was designed during the 1960s as a replacement for the Aero L-29 Delfin as a principal training aircraft. In 2007, during a training exercise, another L-39 also crashed off the coast in the central province of Ninh Thuan, killing two pilots on board.

The safety record of Vietnam’s civilian aviation sector is generally good, but over the past years there have been several incidents involving military aircraft.

Last June, Vietnam's Air Defense suffered a double loss in one week. On June 14, an Su-30MK2 Vietnamese fighter crashed off the central province of Nghe An. Only one of thw two pilots made it out alive. Two days later, a CASA-212-40 with nine people on board went missing while searching for the Su-30MK2.

In January 2015, four people were killed when a Vietnamese military helicopter, a UH-1 and known as a Huey, crashed minutes after it set off from Ho Chi Minh City, an army official told AFP.

In July 2014, 19 people died and two others were injured when a Russian-made Mi-171 chopper crashed in Hanoi during a training exercise.

In 2008, five Vietnamese air force officers were killed when their twin-engine light transport aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Hanoi, according to AFP.

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