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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

One body, wreckage of missing trainer plane found

ROC Central News Agency

2010/01/28 14:42:56
Kaohsiung, Jan. 28 (CNA) The body of one of the pilots who were aboard an Air Force Academy twin-seater T-34C trainer plane that went missing during a training flight Tuesday was found Thursday in a mountain in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung County, military sources said.

The wreckage of the plane has also been found in a pristine mountain forest in the county's Namashia township, the source said.

The body of Chen Tze-yu, a second lieutenant, was found lying near the fuselage and one of the fins of the trainer plane, the sources said.

Eight Army special service officers parachuted into the forest, which is inaccessible by land, according to the sources.

The trainer took off from the academy at 1: 05 p.m. Tuesday on a training flight west of Kangshan in Kaohsiung County but lost contact with the military flight control tower and disappeared from the radar screen at 1:40 p.m.

The propeller plane was flying over the Nanhua Reservoir when the pilots last made contact with the control tower at 1: 20 p.m., according to an academy officer.

The two officers aboard the trainer were 25-year-old Chen Tze-yu, a second lieutenant who graduated from the academy in 2008 with a flight record of 110 hours, and 48-year-old flight instructor Yao Chien-bao, with a flight record of 4,235 hours. Yao retired from the Air Force last year but later returned to serve as a flight instructor. The U.S.-built T-34 trainer planes have been in service for more than 30 years. The Air Force purchased a batch of T-34C planes from the United States in 1985 for basic flight training.

The military has grounded all T-34C trainers for safety checks after Tuesday's incident, military sources said.

(By Chen Shou-kuo and Sofia Wu) ENDITEM /pc

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