NAKHON PHANOM — Three people died as a small plane crashed one minute after taking off early Thursday morning.
The four-seat plane departed Nakhon Phanom Airport at about 5am for Don Mueang International Airport. Around one minute after takeoff the pilot informed air traffic controllers he needed to make an emergency landing, according to police.
But the plane crashed about two kilometers from the runway. It was the school’s second plane to crash this year, though no one died when a training aircraft went down in February.
“All three people in the plane died instantly,” said police Lt. Col. Manop Munying of Nakhon Phanom police station.
The small plane belongs to the International Aviation College of Nakhon Phanom University. It reportedly asked for urgent permission to fly a VIP passenger, Yingyod Udonphan, 54, the former President of Maha Sarakham Provincial Administration Organization who had an urgent meeting today in Bangkok.
The other two people killed were the pilot, 62-year-old police Lt. Col. Somboon Khambungrattanawongsa, and assistant pilot, Sub. Lt. Shinnawut Nuanklab, 26.
Police said the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.