The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) said that the PT6 type training aircraft that crashed near China Bay Air Force Academy, Trincomalee, was manufactured in China in 2018 based on an order made by the SLAF.
SLAF Spokesperson Group Captain Dushan Wijesinghe said that although the total operational time of the aircraft is 4,000 flight hours, only about 800 flight hours have been conducted so far.
MP Dayasiri Jayasekara made a statement yesterday (08) in Parliament stating that the aircraft in question was an old aircraft manufactured in 1958.
Group Captain Wijesinghe said that all the planes owned by the Sri Lanka Air Force were purchased between 2000 and 2018. He said that the planes ordered in 2001 have also only completed 2,800 flight hours.
Accordingly, he said that there is no issue in using all the relevant planes in training activities.
He said that Hongdu Aviation Industry Group Ltd. (HAIG) formerly China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation or CNAMC commenced the manufacturing of this type of aircraft on August 27, 1958 but they were operationalised in 1960.
Group Captain Wijesinghe said these aircraft have been used for training in the Chinese Air Force as well.
However, apart from Sri Lanka, these planes have been given to many countries including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and so far the number of planes produced is more than 2,000, he said.
Two Air Force personnel-the pilot and an Air Force Engineer-were killed when this training aircraft crashed near the China Bay Air Force Academy in Trincomalee on Monday (07) at around 11.27 am.
Source – Dinamina