Details of fatal ultralight crash emerge as investigation begins

Further details about a fatal plane crash in Pingtung County yesterday have emerged as an investigation by Taiwan’s Transportation Safety Investigation Committee began today, January 8.

See previous story: Light aircraft reported missing found crashed in Pingtung County: 2 dead

The aircraft was identified as a CTLS ultralight belonging to the AeroJones Aero Club, with the serial number AJ-2199.

The aircraft took off from the Saijia Airfield in Sandimen Township, Pingtung County at around 2:20 pm with a planned flight route to the Shanchuan Glass Suspension Bridge and return.

Personnel on the ground lost radio and phone contact with the pilot around 10 minutes after takeoff.

Video footage of the aircraft taking off shows that weather conditions were poor, with light rain, and poor visibility. The plane was seen disappearing into low cloud shortly after takeoff.

The mother of the deceased passenger, a 24-year-old man named Chen, criticized the flight operators as having a complete disregard for human life.

Chen, who’s father was an Air Force officer, had ambitions of becoming a pilot. Chen was employed as an EVA Air ground crew, and was saving money to attend a flying school in Canada next year.

The pilot, a 59-year-old man named Lin was an experienced pilot, and qualified flying instructor, according to reports.

The Minister for Transportation and Communications, Lin Chia-lung said that the National Transportation Safety Investigation Committee has begun an investigation and will report the results within two to three months.

Scene of fatal ultralight crash in Pingtung County, January 8, 2021.
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