BAF pilot killed as plane crashesOur Correspondent . Tangail
A trainee pilot was killed and his trainer was injured when a training plane of the Bangladesh Air Force crashed on Sunday into rice field at Madhupur in Tangail, 103km north-west off the capital Dhaka.
The pilot officer, Md Shariful Haque, 22, who became injured in the head when he ejected himself, died later in Combined Military Hospital at the Shaheed Salauddin Cantonment in Tangail.
His trainer, Squadron Leader Muhammad Mamunur Rashid, 35, however, could survive without sustaining any serious injury.
The Inter-Services Public Relations in a release said that the plane had crashed into the field about 12:27pm during a regular flying training session.
The two-seater Aero Vodochody L-39ZA Albatros crashed about 25 minutes after it had taken off at the BAF Base Kurmitola in Dhaka, Air Headquarters officials told New Age.
The pilots, who were stationed at 25 Squadron at BAF Base Zahurul Haque, were headed for the BAF Firing Range at Rasulpur in Tangail to conduct an
air-to-ground firing drill, the officials said.
Soon after the crash, an army team, which was working in a government project site near by, rushed there and rescued the pilots, local people said. The pilots were sent to the CMH at Ghatail where Shariful died.
Army, air force, police, and fire service and civil defence personnel later visited the spot.
Sources said that the reason for the crash could not be immediately established but the high-performance jet signalled an ‘engine failure’ before the pilots had ejected themselves.
The ISPR release said that a high-powered committee had been set up to investigate the ‘real cause of the accident.’
Air Vice-Marshal Abu Esrar, assistant chief of air staff (operation and training), and other high officials visited the spot.
The training plane, manufactured in Czech Republic, was commissioned in the Bangladesh Air Force in 1996, the Air Headquarters officials said.
The officials, however, could not confirm how old the plane was but said that it was one of the finest training jets in the force.
The air force officials said that another BAF F-7MB with squadron leader Murshed on board crashed in the same area on April 8 four years ago.
At least 15 planes and two helicopters of the Bangladesh Air Force and the Army Aviation Corps have so far crashed in 19 years, and 18 pilots, co-pilots, navigators and passengers died. Fifteen were injured.
A major general, a lieutenant colonel, two wing commanders, six squadron leaders, three flight lieutenants, two flying officers, one pilot officer and a warrant officer and a flight sergeant were among the people killed in such plane crashes, according to press reports. The victims also included cadet pilots.
Most of the planes that crashed were of FT-7, PT-6, and F-7MB models and were manufactured in China. At least five China-made basic training planes — PT-6 models — have crashed since 1996.
The helicopters that crashed were an MI-17, manufactured in Russia, and a Bell-206, manufactured in the United States.
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