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  Taiwan   Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) • Chung-Hua Min-Kuo K'ung-Chün (ZMK) • 中華民國空軍
Taiwan / Republic of China (ROC) (Zhōnghuá Mínguó 中華民國 )

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Mechanical failure ruled out in RoCAF F-5s crashes

Mechanical failure ruled out in RoCAF F-5s crashes

Investigation on going: Officials said they were trying to determine whether there had been an equipment misreading, but that multiple factors were likely responsible

Preliminary investigations into the crash of two F-5 aircraft during a nighttime tactical reconnaissance training operation on Sept. 13 have ruled out mechanical failure, the air force’s Political Warfare Department Director Pan Kung-hsiao (潘恭孝) said.

Captain Hsiao Wen-min (蕭文民), who was piloting the AIDC F-5F Tiger II, and Lieutenant Colonel Chang Chien-kuo (常建國) and Major Wang Hung-hsiang (王鴻祥), who were onboard the AIDC RF-5E Tigereye from the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, went down near Dongao Mountain (東澳山) in Suao Township (蘇澳), Yilan County, soon after takeoff.

During a public memorial service yesterday morning, Pan told reporters that the cause of the accidents was still being investigated, with the investigation team looking at all the possible angles, including terrain, mechanical and human factors.

“With regards to terrain, as it was a nighttime training exercise, we are trying to determine if there might have been a misreading of the equipment, though this has not been proven,” Pan said.

“All three pilots were qualified to lead,” Pan said.

The two aircraft had passed weekly inspections and preliminary investigations have ruled out mechanical failure as a cause of the twin crashes, Pan said.

Investigators are expected to complete gathering data within 45 days and will then look into what caused the crashes, Pan said, adding it was likely that more than one factor led to the incident.

The air force does not want a repeat of the incident and it was closely scrutinizing every piece of data, Pan said.

The air force, the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Aviation Safety Council are working jointly in the investigation, Pan said, adding that the air force’s fleet of F-5s, which was grounded after the crashes, had resumed flying. The families of the deceased officers would receive state compensation, Pan said.

A twin-seater F-5F, along with an RF-5E reconnaissance plane, crashed into the mountains near Dongao in Yilan County during a training drill late Tuesday. Body parts from the three pilots aboard the two aircraft were discovered early Wednesday.

The U.S. built F-5 fighters began operations in Taiwan's Air Force in 1973, but they were later relegated to training and intelligence gathering missions after the Air Force acquired a new generation of jet fighters, such as F-16s and Mirage 2000-5s, in the 1990s.

The following are all accidents involving RoCAF F-5s since 1973:

1 - jul 02,1973 - Model: F-5A - Seial Number: 1278 - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
2 - jul 06, 1979 - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5124 - CN: V1024 - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
3 - Jan 26, 1989 - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5390 - CN: VH1013 - Unit: ROCAF/7TFW - Casualties: 2 dead
4 - Feb 11, 1989 - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5120 - CN: V.1020 - Unit: RoCAF/46th TFW - Casualties: 1 dead
5 - May 24, 1991 / Tainan - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5135 - CN: V.1035 - Unit: RoCAF/443rd TFW - Casualties: 1 dead
6 - May 28, 1991 / Pingtung - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5191 - CN: V.1091 - Unit: RoCAF/433rd TFW - Casualties: 1 dead
7 - May 28, 1992 / off the coast of Hualien - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: xxx - CN: xxxx - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
8 - Oct. 3, 1992 / off the coast of Penghu - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5405/30131 - CN: VH.1028 - Unit: RoCAF/26th TFS - Casualties: 2 dead
9 - Jun 12, 1994 - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: xxx - CN: xxxx - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
10 - Dec. 20, 1995 / off the coast of Taichung - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5239/61634 - CN: V.1139 - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
11 - June 2, 1996 / off the coast of Taitung - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5351/61640 - CN: K.1001 - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 2 dead
12 - Jan 22, 1997 - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: xxx - CN: xxxx - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 1 dead
13 - Sept. 30, 1997 / Hualien - Model: F-5E - Seial Number: 5228/61623 - CN: V.1128 - Unit: RoCAF/16sq TFS - Casualties: 1 dead
14 - Sept. 30, 1997 / Hualien - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5388/30114 - CN: VH.1011 - Unit: RoCAF/16sq TFS - Casualties: 2 dead
15 - Dec 03, 1998 - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5394/83-0120 - CN: VH.1017 - Unit: RoCAF/46th TFS - Casualties: 1 dead
16 - Oct. 5, 2001 / off the coast of Taitung - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5356/77-0338 - CN: K.1006 - Unit: RoCAF/7th TFW - Casualties: 2 missing
17 - Oct. 12, 2003 / off the coast of Hsinchu - Model: RF-5E - Seial Number: 5502/30086 - CN: VG.1043 - Unit: RoCAF/4th TRS - Casualties: 0 dead
18 - Apr 13, 2004 - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5398/30124 - CN: VH.1021 - Unit: RoCAF - Casualties: 0 dead
19 - Jan 27, 2005 - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5379/91722 - CN: VH.1002 - Unit: RoCAF/46th TFS - Casualties: 1 dead
20 - June 17, 2006 / Chiayi - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5381/91724 - CN: VH.1004 - Unit: RoCAF/44th TFS - Casualties: 1 dead, 1 seriously injured
21 - Aug. 28, 2006 / airbase in Taitung - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5384/00296 - CN: VH.1007 - Unit: RoCAF/7th TFW - Casualties: 0 dead
22 - May 11, 2007 / Hsinchu - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5371/80878 - CN: VF.1003 - Unit: ROCAF/7th TFW - Casualties: 2 dead
23 - July 15, 2009 / off the coast of Penghu - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5410 - CN: 30136 - Unit: ROCAF/7TFW - Casualties: 2 missing
24 - Sept. 13, 2011 / Yilan - Model: F-5F - Seial Number: 5... - CN: xxxx - Unit: ROCAF/44/45/46 TFS - Casualties: 1 dead
25 - Sept. 13, 2011 / Yilan - Model: RF-5E - Seial Number: 550.- CN: xxxx - Unit: ROCAF/12TRS - Casualties: 1 dead

Total: 25 incidents, 25 dead, 4 missing and 1 injured

Sources: By Jake Chung / Staff Writer, with CNA / Legislator Chai Trong-rong and United Daily News (By James Lee) ENDITEM/ly

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

(11.10.2011)


 
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