Two missing in military training aircraft crash
IZMIR - Hürriyet Daily News
Rescue teams search for the missing pilots after a plane crash near İzmir. DHA photoAn Air Force training aircraft crashed into the Aegean Sea off the coast of the western province of İzmir’s Foça district on Jan. 16, while the two pilots onboard the plane have reportedly gone missing.
“The exact location of the plane has been determined. Search and rescue efforts in the region are continuing,” İzmir Gov. Cahit Kıraç said. The efforts were still continuing as the Hürriyet Daily News went to print yesterday.
A transport plane, two helicopters, a PT patrol boat, a minesweeper ship and other small seaborne vessels were assisting in the search and rescue mission, according to the Anatolia news agency.
Sources have indicated that a Turkish officer Serkan Sağır, 23, and a Pakistani pilot were onboard the T-37C training plane, reported the Doğan news agency.
Search teams recovered parts of the aircraft from the sea overnight. Reports indicated the recovered parts may be related to the ejection system. Seaborne rescue efforts continued through the night of Jan. 16, but airborne rescue operations were halted when darkness fell, only to be resumed yesterday morning.
Local fishermen who witnessed the incident said the plane, which had taken off from the Çiğli Second Main Fighter Base Flight Training Command, had caught fire after one of its wings broke away.
The Turkish Air Force has used T-37 training aircraft since 1963. The aircraft are set to be decommissioned by the end of this year, to be replaced with the KT-1, a Korean design manufactured by the Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara.
The T-37s have been involved in 12 accidents since 1980.