Vietnam finds remains of second pilot in deadly military jet crash

Thanh Nien News

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Members in a search mission for two pilots in a military air crash on April 16, 2015. Photo credit: Members in a search mission for two pilots in a military air crash on April 16, 2015. Photo credit:


Vietnam's military confirmed Thursday that they have found the body of the second pilot who died when two fighter jets crashed into the country's East Sea two weeks ago.
The remains of Captain Nguyen Anh Tu was found off Phu Quy Island on Thursday afternoon, Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of Staff of Vietnam People’s Army, said.
The body of the first pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Le Van Nghia, was recovered on Tuesday when search and rescue teams found the cockpit of the first jet on the seabed.
Tu’s body was brought to a military hospital in Ho Chi Minh City this morning and a funeral for both pilots will be held on Sunday.
Lieutenant General Tuan also said that the black boxes of both Nghia's and Tu's jets have been found. As a result, the search and rescue operation at sea has been stopped, he said.
On April 16 Lieutenant Colonel Nghia and Captain Tu took off from an airport in Ninh Thuan Province, central Vietnam, in two Soviet-era Su-22 jets for a training mission.
Just a few minutes after taking off both aircraft lost contact.
Fishermen operating off Phu Quy Island, spotted them crashing into the sea near Phu Quy Island, some 56 nautical miles east of Phan Thiet Town.
The military said search and rescue efforts after the crash were hampered by bad weather and strong currents in the area.
Investigation into the cause of the crash is going on. The military said both jets may have exploded mid-air before crashing into the sea, and none of the pilots could eject from their plane.
It was the fourth crash for Vietnam's Air Force since last July.
On March 26 a Russian-made military helicopter crashed when it was about to land on an island off Binh Thuan, but everyone on board survived.
Two earlier crashes involved a Russian Mi-171 and US-built UH-1, and killed 24 military personnel.

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