An Air Force AT-3 jet trainer crashed in Kaohsiung. The pilot Hsu Ta-chun has been found dead on his second solo flight. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
An Air Force AT-3 trainer jet crashed in Kaohsiung on May 31. It was piloted by Lieutenant Hsu Ta-chun, a 2021 graduate of the Air Force Academy. The trainer had the registration number AR32 and the tail number 0852. It took off at 8:03 a.m., and contact was lost at 8:06 a.m. when it was about five nautical miles northeast of the airport.
Huang Chih-wei, Air Force Chief of Staff："It was last inspected and maintained on Feb. 17, 2022. It had flown 77 hours and 55 minutes. There weren't any major issues for nearly a year. The Air Force has already issued a command for the Air Force Academy to suspend all flying training missions."
The AT-3 trainer jet had been in service for 38 years, so there were concerns about its condition. The Air Force said details remain to be clarified, including whether the pilot ejected.
Huang Chih-wei, Air Force Chief of Staff："We need to clarify details, such as whether the pilot ejected or whether he crashed with the plane, by analyzing the wreckage. We did not receive any communications about malfunction or that the pilot was going to eject."
The Air Force immediately launched a search and rescue mission, but the pilot was already dead when he was found. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her condolences, and ordered the Ministry of National Defense to determine the cause of the accident and assist Hsu's family with follow-up arrangements.