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Pilots Killed In Phuket Plane Crash

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PHUKET – A pilot and co-pilot were killed when their light plane crashed while attempting to land at a privately owned airfield in Phuket.

The crash happened at 10.10am on Saturday at a field behind Ban Ploen Chan village in Tambon Paklok, near Phuket Airpark in Thalang district.

The crash site is about 500m from the Tha Rua-Muang Mai road and is surrounded by rubber plantations.

Tambon Paklok Municipality authorities and officials from other agencies rushed to the scene.

The two are studying aircraft mechanics at Thalang Technical College. The pilot and assistant pilot were trapped in their seats and died at the scene.

After the bodies were removed, the pilot was identified as Watana Thinphang-nga, 68, and co-pilot as first officer Narin Thaweewat.

Both were special lecturers at Thalang Technical College.

Police said Watana and Narin had taken 30 students from the aircraft mechanics course on a field trip to the private light plane airport, which is about 2km from the crash site.

The plane in the crash was a Jubiru 450 model with the registration HS-PMS and named Butterfly 05.

Suchart Raksangob, the managing director of Phuket Airpark, said Watana took 30 students on a study trip to the airport and then flew the plane with two students.

Suchart said the weather was normal and there were no signs of irregularities before the plane crashed.

The plane took off at 10.05am and it turned back about five minutes later.

Witnesses told police that a strong wind prompted the plane to detour, and it was about to make a second landing attempt when it crashed. — The Nation/Asia News Network

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