A border guard vessel and a fishing boat join a rescue mission at the site of a crash involving two military fighter jets off the central province of Binh Thuan
The body of a pilot was found Tuesday in the cockpit of one of the two fighter jets that crashed off Vietnam’s central coast nearly two weeks ago.
Lieutenant Colonel Le Van Nghia of the southern division of the Air Force was in the aircraft that was found around 100 meters from the crash site off Binh Thuan Province.
On April 16 Nghia and Captain Nguyen Anh Thu took off from Phan Rang town in neighboring Ninh Thuan Province for a training mission.
Just a few minutes later both aircraft lost contact.
They were spotted crashing into the sea by fishermen 10-15 kilometers from Phu Quy Island, and rescuers have managed to retrieved parts of the doomed aircraft, including one tail.
The media had reported that the jets had collided.
However, the military has not confirmed this yet, but said the two aircraft apparently exploded before crashing into the sea.
Rescuers are still searching for the other pilot and the remaining parts of the wrecked jets.
The accident was the fourth crash for the Air Force since last July.
On March 26 a military helicopter, also produced during the Soviet era, crashed when it was about to land on Phu Quy Island, but everyone on board survived.
Two earlier crashes involved a Russian Mi-171 and US-built UH-1, and killed 24 military personnel.