A Taiwan Air Force jet crashed on Tuesday, killing a pilot. The mishap occurred during an air force training mission, Taiwan's Defense Ministry has said.
According to the Air Force Chief of Staff Huang Chih-wei the aircraft, AT-3 jet, went missing a few minutes after take-off from the Gangshan air base in Kaohsiung and crashed into a paddy field nearby three minutes later.
The body of the 23-year-old pilot was found at the crash site by Kaohsiung City Fire Department and he was identified as Lieutenant Hsu Ta-chun, South China Morning Post reported.
The report of the plane crash reached the fire department at 8:11a.m. and a rescue team was immediately dispatched to the crash site. "By the time we got there, flames from the crash had almost died down and we found a man with no sign of life," a department official said.
The Air Force Chief further explained that there were no maintenance issues with the aircraft and it was in good working condition. He announced that the air force has suspended all AT-3 training missions and will conduct a thorough inspection of the jets.
An investigation into the incident by the Defence Ministry has been ordered by President Tsai Ing-wen who is "deeply saddened" by the loss.
Until now at least eleven pilots and cadets have lost their lives in 15 AT-3 crashes since 60 trainer jets were commissioned by the air force in 1984.