By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE AIR FORCE NOW HAS ONLY a couple of two-seater F-5 TH Super Tigris fighters left in deployment after one other recently crash-landed with the pilot jettisoning to safety in Lopburi.
The Air Force currently deploys a dozen one-seater F-5 TH Super Tigris fighters in addition to the two two-seater jets which have been gradually modified and equipped with advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface missile guidance and fire control systems, according to a source who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
The front seat aboard the two-seater Northrop jet fighter is for a pilot and the rear seat is for a weapon system operator, simply called a gunner.
The dozen one-seater F-5 TH Super Tigris fighters plus the two-seater jets are currently deployed at Wing 21 in Ubon Ratchathani, the source said.
The mid-air incident of the two-seater jet fighter which crash-landed and caught fire on a high terrain of Chai Badan district of Lopburi on Dec.3 was evidently caused by a stray bird hitting the canopy of the aircraft, leading to the lone pilot, namely Wg Cdr Suthimet Uamma, losing control of the aircraft flying at a speed of 800 kilometres per hour and finally prompting him to jettison to safety.
Nobody was on the rear seat of the aircraft at the time of the mishap, which forced the pilot to eject with a parachute and land on the ground, breaking one of his arms and legs.
The ill-fated jet fighter was joining an airborne tactical operations competition among Air Force pilots over the mountainous area of the central province. Civilians have been strictly barred from encroaching upon the perimeters of the crash site pending thorough investigation.
Top and Home Page: Royal Thai Air Force’s F-5E and F-5F fighters. Photos: Aagth1.blogspot.com
Earlier reports: F-5 Super Tigris fighter’s crash-landing caused by stray big bird