LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

TURKEY

Military cargo plane crashes, four die

HDN | 5/19/2001 12:00:00 AM |

A CASA CN-235 military cargo plane crashed during a test flight Friday, killing two Spanish pilots, a Spanish technician and a Turkish technician. Spanish Embassy spokesman Guillermo Corral confirmed that three Spaniards were killed in the crash. The

A CASA CN-235 military cargo plane crashed during a test flight Friday, killing two Spanish pilots, a Spanish technician and a Turkish technician. Spanish Embassy spokesman Guillermo Corral confirmed that three Spaniards were killed in the crash.

The crash took place on the day Turkey was mourning the deaths of 34 soldiers who died Wednesday. Friday's crash involved a CASA CN-235 cargo aircraft, the same type of plane that crashed on Wednesday, private NTV television reported.

The CASA CN-235 is a Spanish-designed aircraft.

General Manager of CASA Alberto Fernandez, immediately flew to Ankara on Friday after the second crash.

Friday's plane was one of eight that were being modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries for use by the navy and was on its final test flight, CNN-Turk reported.

The aircraft crashed a few minutes after it took off from Etimesgut Air Base outside of the capital Ankara, NTV reported. Turkish Aerospace Industries has a plant near the air base and uses its runways for test flights.

Officials were investigating the cause of the accident.

The modified CASA CN-235 was scheduled to be delivered to the Turkish Navy in June for use as a coastal patrol aircraft.

In Wednesday's accident, the plane plunged into an apricot and beet field near Malatya, about 660 kilometers (410 miles) southeast of Ankara killing 28 soldiers and six crew. It was the military's worst air disaster.

Military experts were studying data from the plane's black box to determine the cause of the Wednesday crash. One military official blamed technical malfunction.

Friday's crash was the third involving a CASA aircraft this year. A CASA aircraft crashed in January during a training mission in central Turkey, killing three.

"Obviously the company will now undertake a major investigation," Corral said.

The funerals for the victims of Wednesday's crash were being held in 13 different provinces Friday. The largest ceremony was due to be held in Ankara for nine soldiers. Top military officials are expected to attend the funeral.

Most of those killed in the Wednesday crash were commandos of the Special Forces, an elite force trained to carry out attacks behind enemy lines.

The Special Forces have been used extensively in Turkey's fight against autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels who began battling for autonomy in southeastern Turkey in 1984. The rebels announced a cease-fire in 1999, which Turkey has rejected.

The Spanish-designed two-engine propeller aircraft are manufactured in Turkey and are the army's preferred light transport aircraft.

The Turkish army has some 50 CASA aircraft.

Ankara - TDN with wire dispatches

MOST POPULAR

MOST COMMENTED

AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency