Wed, Nov 16, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Thunder Tigers return to the skies

MASTERFUL MANEUVERS:The aerobatics team has been on a four-year hiatus following an accident during a training session for a jet tumbling stunt that killed a pilot

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

An aerobatic performance troop that was suspended for four years is to perform for the public at a Taichung Chingchuankang Airport base on Saturday next week, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.

The Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team is to showcase diving stunts at the Chingchuankang Aviation Festival.

Six rolling jet trainers are to ascend in a close formation before diving with each aircraft flying in different directions, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said.

The stunt has not been executed since 2012.

The team is to deploy its entire fleet — seven AT-3 trainer jets — for the first time since 2014, when Lieutenant Colonel Chuang Pei-yuan (莊倍源) died after his aircraft collided with another and crashed during a training session, Chen said.

A three-jet tumbling stunt that Chuang was performing during the accident will not be executed, the ministry said.

The festival is the fourth open base event this year, and the nation’s most advanced jets, such as the F-16, the Mirage 2000 and the Indigenous Defense Fighter jet, are to take part in the aerial demonstration, Chen said.

Visitors will also be able to get a closer look at several aircraft, including the Lockheed P-3 Orion marine patrol aircraft, the S-2T marine patrol aircraft, Teng Yun unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache, Sikorsky S-70C and the AH-1W Super Cobra.

Ground combat vehicles to be displayed include the Thunderbolt-2000 multiple rocket launcher, the Avenger missile launcher, CM33 Clouded Leopard armored vehicles and nuclear, biological, chemical reconnaissance vehicles.

The air force marching band and Aboriginal dancers are to perform and a fair is to be held on the base, the ministry said.

Taiwanese who present a photo ID at the entrance will be admitted free of charge.

Spouses of Taiwanese who do not have an Republic of China ID card should present documents to prove their legal status in Taiwan and be accompanied by their Taiwanese partner with a photo ID.

Foreign caregivers who are invited by those they care for should bring their passports and other relevant documents.

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