Venezuela has lost its first Hongdu K-8 to an accident, just four months after accepting its first batch of the jet trainer and light attack aircraft.

Both crew members survived the 21 July accident, ejecting shortly before the aircraft came down near Barquisimeto, around 360km west of Caracas.

Venezuela’s air force in mid-March took delivery of its first six K-8s from an 18-aircraft order with China, and the last its remaining examples had been due to arrive in-country this month.

 K-8 Venezuela crash 1 - Rex Features

Venezuela K-8 crash 2 - Rex Features

Both images © KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features

Designated as K-8Ws, Venezuela’s aircraft can also be armed to perform light attack duties.

President Hugo Chavez early last month announced that more than $80 million had been set aside to acquire a further 22 K-8s, in a move which will enable the air force to retire its aged Canada VF-5A fighters.