DHAKA (GDC) — A Bangladesh Air Guard’s jet today crashed in the Bay of Bengal minutes after it took off from a Zahurul Haque base in the south-eastern port city of Chittagong.
“An F-7 fighter aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has crashed into the sea after taking off from the BAF Base Zahurul Haque,” reported PTI citing a defense ministry spokesman.
The authorities have launched a search operation to trace the missing pilot identified as Flight Lieutenant Tahmid. It could be gathered from air force sources that the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Tahmid was absent from flying duties due to secondment to UN peacekeeping mission, Air Commodore M Abul Bashar of Bangladesh Air Guard, told The Independent newspaper.
The pilot of the F-7 fighter, Flight Lieutenant ‘Tahmid’, is reported missing, Chittagong airport’s manager Wing Commander Nur E Alam was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com today. He added that the F-7 aircraft crashed into the sea six miles off the Patenga beach.
The F-7 was used as a training aircraft. The control tower lost contact with the aircraft. At 11:45am it was confirmed that the plane had crashed into the sea, he said.
Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate Assistant Director Nur Islam added, “We are not yet certain as to how the plane went missing. A probe committee will be formed to ascertain the cause.” Coast Guard, Navy and Chittagong Port Authority were jointly conducting the search and rescue operation.
The export version of J-7 has been designated as F-7. The J-7 is a single-engine, lightweight fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The F-7 MD fighter, a Chinese-built aircraft, was purchased in the 1990s. It’s used by the air forces of many countries—including Pakistan, Egypt and Libya— as training aircraft,” he added.
“It took off at 11 am (local time) and lost links with the control tower at 11.14am. The aircraft visibly crashed in the sea at around 11.30 am,” another official said.
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