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Air Force F16 jet crashes while on training flight, pilot safely ejects

A Royal Thai Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed while on a training flight in the north-eastern province of Chaiyaphum this afternoon (Tuesday), but the pilot managed to eject safely, according to Spokesperson for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Air Vice Marshal Prapas Sornchaidee.

He said that a rescue team was immediately sent to the crash site, in Chatturat district, after the 103rd Air Wing Command had been alerted of the accident.

He said that that the pilot had been assisted by villagers in the area and the rescue team when it arrived. He also urged villagers not to get close to the plane wreckage for safety reasons.

The RTAF spokesman said a team of inspectors had been sent to the crash site to collect evidence and a committee will be set up to investigate the cause.

Last December, one F-5 fighter jet, of the 211st Air Wing, crashed while on a weapons training exercise in Chai Badan district of Lop Buri. It is believed that the crash was caused by a bird strike, later identified as an open-billed stork.

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