Sat, Oct 15, 2011
Pilot Ejected, Status Still Unknown
A Chinese fighter jet went down during an air show performance
Friday in the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi.
YouTube Frame Capture
There had been conflicting reports about the type of jet and
whether the pilot survived the accident. The French news service
AFP and the Associated Press report that the official Chinese
news agency Xinhua said the aircraft was a two-place JH-7
fighter-bomber. Early reports from China state television CCTV
indicated that it might have been a Xiaolong FC-1 fighter jet.
A video posted on YouTube
shows the pilot ejecting just seconds before the jet impacts the
ground. His parachute is seen to at least partially deploy, and the
Associated Press reports that he suffered only minor injuries. A
second crewmenber on board the plane apparently was unable to eject
in time, and was fatally injured on impact.
A spokesperson for the China International General Aviation
Convention, which organized the show at Xian's Pucheng Neifu
airport, told AFP that "The plane had some malfunction and an
investigation team has been sent to the scene." Xinhua reporters
said that the show was continuing even while heavy black smoke
could be seen rising from the accident site.
The show, which was expected to attract some 100,000 people over
its three-day run, featured aircraft and performances from several
countries including the U.S.
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