Trainer aircraft crashes in Taiwan, two pilots killed

08:07, December 16, 2010      

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A trainer aircraft from Taiwan's "air force" crashed Wednesday afternoon in Kaohsiung during a training session, killing two pilots.

The plane, a single-engine T-34 two-seat training aircraft, belonged to an aviation school. The bodies of the instructor, Niu Pengyu, 49, and the student, Liu Zhehong, (both the name in Chinese pinyin), 25, were found by rescuers.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The plane took off at 1:08 p.m. and its radar signal disappeared at 2:02 p.m., according to officials. Witnesses reported an airplane crashed in a mountainous area, followed by an explosion, a fireball and dense smoke.

Wednesday's training session was the third for Liu, who had only recorded two flight hours. The trainer was a veteran pilot, with nearly 4,800 flight hours in the air.

A trainer aircraft of the same model, also belonging to Taiwan's "air force," crashed in January, when authorities suspended flights of all aircraft of the same type, only resuming them two months later.

Source:Xinhua
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