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So very sad wingman.

A 50 year old instructor and 20 year old 3rd year student Lieutenant deceased.

The Minister of Defence is citing engine failure on takeoff. From what has been said, the aircraft flew yesterday and again this morning after a "mechanical review" prior to this fatal flight.

Can't imagine what the airbase is going through with 2 fatal accidents in less than a month.
Hi Newmaney...yes a tragedy, hot on the heels of the Casa 101 accident. 2 Display pilots lost from the Eagle team.
"Turn round" (mechanical review) servicing is normal for aircraft doing "running changes or continuous operations"...i.e. back to back sorties. You see pilots and engineers doing this when you are boarding commercial aircraft. But catastrophic engine failure can occur anytime. Could be a number of things...fuel, mechanical break up, mishandling...inquiry will find out.
Just after take off is normally full power...max stress on the engine. Also a critical phase of flight. For single engine light aircraft, below about 800-1200 feet AGL parachuting out is unpractical (minimum abandonment height) you have to stay with the aircraft...glide and rough land. In this case ditch in water. A hostile and risky emergency. Egress from the cockpit is difficult especially after a hard impact and quick submersion. The BOI will look at "survivability" aspects and determine cause of fatalities.
It is normal practice to give students a "simulated engine failure" after take off in the climb phase...a calculated risk is taken by the instructor...but power management is vital. If mishandled this could be a factor.
Air base moral will be low...but they all understand military flying is high risk, with particular risks in the training phase and missions. Unless there is a specific reason...operations will soon continue.
By timbo
These Casa Aircraft are very old Airframes,not saying this is the factor for both crashes but the older the Aircraft the more difficult it becomes to maintain these Aircraft and like our own RAF I'm sure they have budget restraints which causes great concern in Aircraft maintenance.
By wingman
It is true..age is a factor. The CASA 101 (the jet) is circa 1980s and the Chilian T35 (the piston) is a late 70s design. The jet is to be replaced in the SAF. But no reported replacement for the T35 thus far.
But many old designs have long life. A key factor is role and utility. A basic trainer is just need only be strong (to withstand the less than gentle handling of student pilots) and reasonable through life costs. The De Havilland Chipmunk is a classic example of age and durability...still lots of life left in the airframe...hundred's still flying, but its military training role "death" was more about the old engine design and need for a more "advanced" cockpit to get pilots ready and into Tucano, Hawk T2 and 4th and 5th generation fighters.
Military servicing regimes are generally intensive and therefore more expensive...outsourcing to civilian contract is now perceived as the "cheaper" option. But sadly not the most expedient in some takes nearly 3 times longer to get a UK military pilot through the training system than it did 2 or 3 decades ago.
You are right though...budgets...if you want the facts...always follow the money.. :(

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