Thu, 30 Mar 2000

Air Force jet crashes in training

PEKANBARU, Riau: A Hawk-100 Air Force training jet crashed during an exercise at Simpang Tiga Air Base here on Wednesday.

Air Force spokesman Commodore Bachrum Rasir confirmed the incident, but said the cause of the accident remained unclear.

The pilot, Lt. Arif Hartono, a 1974 graduate of the Air Force Academy, ejected from the jet and suffered only minor injuries.

Bachrum said the British-made aircraft with registration number TT-1208, part of a fleet of 12 jets purchased last year, crashed on the air base's runway at around 9 a.m.

"We don't know the cause of the accident yet, but the weather was clear at the time," Bachrum said.

A team led by Jakarta-based Air Force Western Fleet Commander Air Rear Marshal Supriyadi has been sent to Pekanbaru to investigate the incident.

A U.S.-made F-16 Air Force jet crashed on landing at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base on March 10, 1997, killing the pilot, Capt. Dwi Sasongko. According to the findings of an investigation, the accident was caused by bad weather. (emf)