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U.S.-made Iranian F-5 crashes, killing pilot

U.S.-made Iranian F-5 crashes, killing pilot

A U.S.-made F-5 fighter jet in the Iranian air force crashed Wednesday during a training flight in southwest Iran, killing its pilot, the state news agency reported.

A U.S.-made F-5 fighter jet in the Iranian air force crashed Wednesday during a training flight in southwest Iran, killing its pilot, the state news agency reported.

The United States sold dozens of the F-5s — a small fighter first built in the 1960s — to Iran during the rule of the shah, a close U.S. ally. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the shah, the Iranian air force has continued to use them, though it is not known how many of the aging crafts are still in service.

The crash took place Wednesday morning outside the city of Dezfull, 300 miles southwest of Tehran, said the region’s governor, Hamid Qana’ati. “It was a training flight but reason of crash is not clear” and is under investigation, Qana’ati was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news agency.

Iran has a history of aircraft accidents involving a heavy loss of life. The government has blamed the U.S. trade embargo, which makes it impossible for Iran to buy parts for its old American-built aircraft.

In September, an Iranian passenger plane skidded off the runway as it landed and raked its wing along the ground, sparking a fire that killed 29 of the 148 people on board.

In January 2006, an Iranian military flight carrying a commander of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards and 10 others crashed, killing all aboard.

Source : AirForceTmes -- The Associated Press -TEHRAN, Iran —
Posted : May 10, 2007

Photo: IRIAF Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter - Fighter Conversion (Advanced Jet Training) - 3-10587
[ photo]


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