Sun, Nov 27, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team perform at air show

SELF-RELIANCE:At the event, the president said that promoting the nation’s defense industry is one of her priorities, and Taichung has the skills to make aircraft

Staff writer, with CNA

Visitors to the Chingchuankang Aviation Festival at the Chingchuankang Air Base in Taichung yesterday watch a display of fighter jets.

Photo: Chiang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The air force’s Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team performed at an air show in Taichung yesterday, in its first public performance since a training mission in October 2014 ended in tragedy.

Flying a full formation of seven aircraft, the team executed several stunts, including diving to a height of about 100m and then flying upward to simulate a mushrooming explosion, to the delight of about 100,000 spectators at Chingchuankang Air Base.

The aerobatics team had not performed in public since Lieutenant Colonel Chuang Pei-yuan (莊倍源) was killed when his AT-3 trainer aircraft collided with another AT-3 during a training mission a little more than two years ago.

The air force also flew Indigenous Defense Fighters, Mirage 2000s and F-16s at the event, which was co-sponsored by the Taichung City Government and the air force’s 427th Tactical Fighter Wing.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) attended the air show, accompanied by Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), Chief of the General Staff Yen Te-fa (嚴德發), and Air Force Commander General Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴).

Tsai said promoting the nation’s defense industry is one of her administration’s priorities, adding that the Chingchuankang base is important to achieve a more self-reliant national defense stance.

She said Taichung is adept at producing precision machinery, and many important players in the nation’s efforts to build its own military aircraft are in the city.

She also took the opportunity to promote a campaign to recruit personnel for the Ministry of National Defense, saying it needed more talent.

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