South Korean display team pilot killed in T-50B crash

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A South Korean air force pilot from the service's Black Eagles aerobatic display team was killed when his Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50B trainer crashed on 15 November.

The accident happened in the area of Hoengsong, about 48nm (90km) east of Seoul, with the aircraft having hit a mountainside, according to local media reports quoting the nation's defence ministry. The Black Eagles aircraft had taken off from nearby Wonju air base.

The Republic of Korea Air Force had an active fleet of 75 of the type prior to the crash, including 11 armed TA-50 examples, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. The accident represents the first loss of a T-50, which was jointly developed with Lockheed Martin.

 

Republic of Korea Air Force

The Black Eagles began flying modified T-50Bs in 2009, having previously used the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly. The team, which displays with eight aircraft, visited the UK in July, participating in the Waddington, Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough air shows.

 

BillyPix

KAI has already secured its first export order for the T-50, with Indonesia to receive 16, while the Philippine air force has recently shown interest in buying 12. Lockheed is also expected to offer the type for the US Air Force's prospective T-X jet trainer contest, which could lead to an order for up to 350 aircraft.