TAK — An air force officer died after ejecting from his plane Tuesday while his co-pilot survived the impact.
Squadron Leader Kroekkiat Suwanno, 36, was found hanging from his parachute in a tree after his jet crashed onto the Bhumibol Dam Golf Course in the Sam Ngao district of Tak province. His co-pilot, Group Capt. Jirasak Namwongtri, 42, survived.
Rescue workers had to use a crane to retrieve Kroekkiat’s body.
Jirasak was found near the crash still in a pilot’s seat and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. His condition has since improved to stable.
Kroekkiat and Jirasak had been flying a Czech-made Aero L-39 Albatros training jet from the Wing 41 airbase in Chiang Mai down to Tak.
Witnesses saw the plane come down onto the golf course, followed by a large fire that made a big column of black smoke.