A Pakistan Air Force F-7 fighter plane crashed due a technical fault during a routine operational flight in the country’s Punjab province killing its pilot, a statement said on Thursday.
The plane crashed in the Sabzazar area of Mianwali, some 350-kilometre from Lahore, on Tuesday. According to a statement issued by the Air Force’s media wing, the pilot of the aircraft lost his life as he failed to eject at the time of the crash.
“Wing Commander Mohammad Shahzad was flying an F-7 aircraft when it encountered a technical fault and crashed near the Sabzazar area of Mianwali, some 350-km from Lahore, late on Tuesday,” it said.
“The body of the deceased pilot was recovered from the site of the incident and shifted to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base MM Alam, Mianwali, where the funeral prayers were also offered,” the statement said, adding that an investigation into the crash has been launched by the air force.
According to an eyewitness, the fighter jet crashed in a forest just after take-off from MM Alam airbase (Mianwali). He said soon after the incident the air force personnel reached there and cordoned off the area. According to reports, some 10 F-7PGs/FT-7PGs (aircraft) have crashed during the last 10 years or so.
The PAF has more than 50 of the Chinese-made aircraft in its fleet.