Local pilot killed in warplane crash in France
The China Post news staff
October 4, 2012, 12:19 am TWN
A Taiwanese military pilot died in a crash during flight training in France yesterday, Taiwan's Air Force Command Headquarters confirmed last night.
The Air Force confirmed an earlier French report that a Taiwanese pilot died when the Mirage 2000-5 he was flying on a training mission at the Luxeuil-les-Bains airfield in the east of France burst into a ball of flames after crashing into a wooded area about 500 meters from a group of houses on Wednesday morning.
The pilot, Wang Tung-yi (王同義), 37, served as a lieutenant colonel at the No. 499 Squadron at the Air Force Base in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan. Wang, with 1,400 hours of flight experience, went to France to receive a two-month flight training.
The plane went down in the eastern district of Froideconche, the military's press office said in a statement that did not explain why the Taiwanese national was flying the Mirage 2000-5 or give the cause of the accident, a French report said.
Froideconche mayor Henri Passard was cited as saying the crash site — about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the air base — had been sealed off by rescue services.
An inquiry has been opened to find out the reasons for the accident, a report said.
The Air Force said it will send a team to France to analyze the details of the crash.