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Thai F-16 crashes during training exercise

February 20, 2015 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16 from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) crashed on Friday, killing the pilot, the countries Air Force has confirmed.

The statement confirmed the F-16 came from 1st Wing in Nakhon Ratchasima and crashed in Khok Sampong district in Lop Buri about 14:40pm local time while it was taking part in missile firing training in neighbouring Chai Badan district, air force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Monthon Satchukorn said.

The pilot 30 year old, Flt Lt Noppanon Niwasanon, was found in the wreckage and air force officials will begin to investigate the cause of the crash.

The air force has about 50 active F-16s in three squadrons. The jet that crashed was first used in 1988 and has undergone regular maintenance, ACM Monthon told The Associated Press.

The last Thai crash dates back to 2011 when two RTAF F-16s taking part in the Cobra Gold 2011 exercise collided and crashed in Chaiyaphum province. The last fatal crash dates back to October 2010 when aircraft (#40315) was lost with its pilot.

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