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Wed, Jul 25, 2007

Indonesian Air Force Grounds OV-10 Bronco Fleet

Action Follows Fatal Accident

In response to a fatal accident Monday, the Indonesian Air Force has grounded its remaining six OV-10 Bronco light attack aircraft.

"All the Broncos will be grounded until we know the cause of the accident," Air Force Chief Air Marshall Herman Prayitno told reporters.

One of the Broncos went down shortly after taking off from the Abdurahman Saleh Airport on a routine training flight Monday in the East Java town of Malang killing one of the two pilots, according to China Xinhua News.

"I heard an explosion before seeing one person jump out using a parachute," said a witness who identified himself as Gimin. "The plane then exploded again twice before falling to the ground."

Local media reports engine failure as being the cause of the accident.

When asked if the Broncos would be replaced, Prayitno said "yes, there is such a plan."

This is the second accident involving the Indonesian Air Force's Broncos. The previous one also went down in Malang and was said to have been due to bad weather.

Only a handful of countries still use the 1960s era, US-developed turboprops as part of their active fleets.

FMI: www.tni-au.mil.id

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