A Pakistan Air Force Chengdu FT-7P serial number 90-611 crashed near Chah Miana, Mianwali district, Punjab province when approaching M. M. Alam Air Base (OPMI), during a routine training mission.
The dual-seat aircraft FT-7 was on its routine operational training mission when it crashed shortly after taking off from the airbase
“Both pilots, Squadron Leader Haris bin Khalid and Flying Officer Ibaadur Rehman embraced Shahadat,” the spokesperson said.
He added that a board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of the accident.
PAF plane that crashed near Mianwali. Both the pilots embraced martyrdom. pic.twitter.com/mKg8Zyctm1
— Abrar Rashid (@Abrar_Geo) January 7, 2020
Obaid Ullah Khan, District In-charge of Rescue 1122, a state-owned rescue organization in Mianwali, said that no loss of life has been reported on the ground as the plane crashed in an open field far away from the residential settlement.
Two Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilots attained martyrdom today as an FT-7 aircraft on a routine training mission crashed near Mianwali.
Squadron Leader Haris bin Khalid and Flying Officer Ibaadur Rehman were martyred.
Investigation underway to determine cause of the crash pic.twitter.com/X3a09NiAVy
— Rationale 47 (@Rationale_47) January 7, 2020
He said that the aircraft caught fire before hitting the ground, which is one of the apparent reasons why the pilots did not get a chance to bail out of the crashing aircraft.
The PAF teams have cordoned off the area for investigation, and will remove the debris of the aircraft, he added.
In January 2019, a PAF pilot embraced martyrdom after his F-7 PG aircraft crashed in Khad Koocha area of Mastung during a routine training mission.
Later in June, a PAF FT-7PG trainer aircraft crashed during landing at the Peshawar Air Base in which two pilots embraced martyrdom.
In May 2017, another F-7PG aircraft had crashed near Mianwali on a routine operational training mission. No loss of life or property had been reported in that crash as the pilot had ejected safely. However, by August of the same year, there had been two more crashes of the same aircraft, including one which claimed the life of a commanding officer.
Similarly, in May 2015, an F-7PG crash had resulted in the martyrdom of Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Mariyum Mukhtar.
At least 14 FT-7 aircraft and its variants operated by PAF have crashed over the last 18 years.