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Both missing air force pilots found dead

Both missing air force pilots found dead

A helicopter rescue team found the bodies of two missing pilots and the wreckage of their T-34C air force training plane in a mountainous part of Kaohsiung County yesterday.
Trainee Chen Tse-yu, 25, and teacher Jao Chien-pao, 48, disappeared with their propeller plane during a regular training mission early Tuesday afternoon.
Two days later, an Army helicopter first found the wings and fuselage of the aircraft in a ravine close to a mountain in Namahsia Township at an altitude of 1,330 meters, at a site 300 meters southeast from where the plane last appeared on the radar.
Eight soldiers of the Army special service descended from the helicopter into the ravine and found Chen's body 50 meters from the wreckage, the military said. An hour later, they found Jao's body crushed under the plane, reports said.
The site was surrounded by virgin forest and was extremely hard to reach overland, said Army special service spokesman Yen Te-fa. There were no signs of a fire in the area, he said. Media reports said this indicated the plane might have hit the mountain.
After the find, a team was brought in by helicopter to take the bodies of the two airmen to the Kangshan Air Force Academy, where they were welcomed by a military honor guard headed by Air Force Chief-of-Staff Lei Yu-chi. The bodies were checked with X-rays at the base hospital to help determine the cause of the accident, reports said.
The find followed a search operation involving about 1,000 military, police, fire service and civilian rescue workers trekking into the mountainous terrain, bracing thick fog and deep ravines in a region devastated by Typhoon Morakot.


Updated : 2021-02-25 10:29 GMT+08:00