Inquiry into fatal crash of rainmaking plane

Inquiry into fatal crash of rainmaking plane

Officials at the plane crash scene in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday. (Photo by Piyarach Choncharoen)
Officials at the plane crash scene in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday. (Photo by Piyarach Choncharoen)

A full investigation is under way into the crash of a small plane owned by the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation while preparations are being made for retrieval of the wreckage.

Surasi Kittimonthon, the director-general, has ordered the department's aviation safety unit to investigate the crash of the Cessna Caravan on Tuesday in Kanchanaburi's Sai Yok district during a training flight. 

Capt Trin Amranand, 58, the instructor, and Suksan Sathientham, 28, the pilot under training, were killed. Their bodies were trapped in the wreckage.

The aircraft took off from the 9th Infantry Division, known as Surasi military camp, in Muang district and crashed into a guava plantation in Moo 2 of Sai Yok district 30 minutes later.

A source from the department said the ill-fated plane was one of two aircraft on flight training missions on Tuesday. The other aircraft completed the training without incident.

According to the source, Mr Suksan was clocking up training hours to qualify as a co-pilot, and the flight plan involved basic manoeuvres. 

While the cause of the crash is being investigated, it is suspected the aircraft suffered a sudden loss of lift during a sharp turn and plummeted into the ground.

It was the fourth incident involving one of the department's aircraft this year. 

In late January, a Cessna Caravan crash-landed in Phetchabun. There were no casualties.

In February, a helicopter crash-landed during a training flight in the central province of Nakhon Sawan. The pilot, a co-pilot and a mechanic escaped with minor injuries.

In March, a CN-235 plane carrying former agriculture minister Grisada Boonrach and 21 others made an emergency landing in Nakhon Sawan after its brake and wheel systems failed. No injuries were reported.


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