POST TIME: 2 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
2 BAF officers killed in Jashore jet trainer crash
Special Correspondent

2 BAF officers killed in Jashore jet trainer crash

Two officers of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) were killed after their K-8W light attack / training jet aircraft crashed at Bukbhora baur water body in Jashore yesterday night. The officers were identified as Squadron Leaders Md Serajul Islam and Enayet Kabir Polash. The K-8W fighter crashed at 9.06 pm into the waterbody of the Bukbhora baur in Faridpur village located at the north-western side of Bangladesh Air Force Base Bir Sreshto Matiur Rahman in Jashore, after the two took off from the base on a night training mission at about 8.51 pm, confirmed ISPR.

After the incident, a rescue team of BAF, in cooperation with Bangladesh Fire Service members, rushed to the spot. They were trying to recover the dead bodies of the pilots, a BAF source told The Independent yesterday night. Until filling of this report at 1 am on Monday, the team was continuing its rescue efforts to retrieve the bodies.

A high-powered inquiry committee headed by a senior officer of the BAF has been formed to find out the cause of the crash. Further details of the accident are yet to be known. The BAF sources informed that the K-8W aircraft was purchased from China in 2014.

Bangladesh Air Force had inducted to its fleet four K-8W fighter trainer aircrafts bought from China as part of the government’s effort to modernise the force. According to the IHS Janes, the K-8W is an upgraded version of the JL-8 trainer, with a digital fly-by-wire aircraft flight control system and improved heads-up display capability.

The BAF had total nine K-8W light attack / advanced jet trainers in service, including the one that crashed yesterday. Early this year, the Air Force had announced the need to purchase additional 23 Hongdu K-8W aircraft early this year.

The Air Force plans to use the K-8Ws in combination with Russian Yak-130 advanced combat trainers to train its pilots to operate Chengdu J-7 and MiG-29 fighter aircraft.

Over 500 units built so far, the popular light attack-cum-jet trainer is now being used by the China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (as its domestic variant, the JL-8), Pakistan Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, Venezuela Air Force and Bangladesh Air Force and many others.