Sqd Ldr Dilokrit Pattavee, the air force pilot who died when his Swedish-made Gripen JAS 39C crashed near a runway of Wing 56 airport in Hat Yai during an air show on Children's Day on Saturday, will get a seven-step promotion to the rank of air vice marshal and a high-level royal decoration, air force spokesman Air Marshal Pongsak Semachai said on Sunday.
AM Pongsak said ACM Jom Rungsawang, the air force chief, had extended condolences to the family and relatives of the deceased.
ACM Jom has ordered the air force committee which investigates air accidents to go to the airport to inspect the crash site and the remains of the aircraft.
He also instructed agencies handling the rights and welfare of air force personnel to provide full assistance to the family and relatives of Sqd Ldr Dilokrit regarding death benefits.
Sqd Ldr Dilokrit is entitled to a seven-step special promotion and royally bestowed with the rank of air vice marshal and a royal decoration -- "the Knight Commander (Second Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand".
On Sunday at 1am, ACM Jom presided over a ceremony to receive the body of Sqd Ldr Dilokrit at the air terminal of Wing 6 at Don Mueang.
The body of the deceased was transported to Bangkok in a C-130 aircraft. After the arrival, the body was moved to Wat Phra Srimathat in Bang Khen where a funeral rite is being held.
Sqd Ldr Dilokrit, 34, was the eldest son of ACM Arom Pattawee, former deputy chief-of-staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. He was a student of Class 43 of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School and of Class 50 of the Air Force Academy, and a pilot attached to Flight Squadron 701 of Wing 7 in Surat Thani.
The body of Sqd Ldr Dilokrit Pattavee arrives at the Royal Thai Air Force base on Sunday. (Video by Apichit Jinkul)