A report which has been sent to The Phuket News from Deputy Chief of the Thalang Police Lt Col Amnuay Kraiwuttianan, who is currently acting as Thalang Police Chief, has also been sent to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and others high ranking officers in the Royal Thai Police.
Capt Nattee Pichitchainitimet of the Thalang Police, who was notified of the accident at 10:10am today, earlier confirmed that it was an aircraft captain and a specialist instructor from the Thalang Technical college who died in the incident and that it was two students from the Thalang Technical College’s Aviation Maintenance Department who sustained serious injuries when the light aircraft crashed on a plot of land in Pa Khlok near the Phuket Airpark earlier today (Mar 10).
Rescue workers together with officials from the Phuket Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) attended the scene and were followed by a team from Thalang Police Station led by Deputy Chief Lt Col Amnuay Kraiwuttianan along with Deputy Chief Lt col Anukun Nooket and Capt Nattee.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen along with Commander of the Tourist Police Region 2 Maj Gen Katcha Tatsart and Forensic Police also arrived at the scene some time after.
At the scene was a damaged white JABIRU 450 light aircraft aircraft emblazoned with Butterfly 05 (HS-PMS) the Siam Aviation Association (SAA).
The area has been cordoned off so that local residents could not get close to the scene. Smoking in the near vicinity was immediately banned to prevent a fire as petrol was found around the crashed aircraft’s wings.
Firefighters sprayed the plane and nearby area also to prevent a fire.
According to Col Amnuay’s report sent to Bangkok, “The two people who sustained serious injuries were found on the back seats, one was male and the other female, both were students from Thalang Technical College’s Aviation Maintenance Department of High Vocational Certificate 1. The male was named Adel Samae, 19, from Phuket and the female Orawan Jindarak, 18, from Songkhla.”
Both were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.
The bodies of the deceased were both found trapped in the front seats of the aircraft.
Col Amnuay stated in the report that the deceased were “1st Lt Narin Thaweewat, 67, from Pathum Thani, who was a specialist instructor in aviation maintenance at Thalang Technical College, and Capt Wattana Thinphang-nga, 68, from Phuket.”
Rescue workers used hydraulic cutters to free their remains from the aircraft and the bodies were taken to Thalang Hospital.
“1st Lt Narin and 21 students from Thalang Technical College’s Aviation Maintenance Department were on a field trip at the Phuket Airpark. Two students, Mr Adel and Ms Orwan had been chosen to go up in the aircraft with 1st Lt Narin. The aircraft was controlled by Capt Wattana,” the report said.
“The aircraft took off the ground at 10:05am. The aircraft then flew around the airpark. Ten minutes later as the aircraft was going to land the wind got stronger so the captain decided to fly around. A strong wind blew causing the aircraft to fall, the captain tried to raise the aircraft up again but finally the aircraft crashed into the ground,” the report stated.
“Staff from the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand in Bangkok were immediately called to investigate the incident with police,” the report added.
Speaking to The Phuket News from the scene, Gen Teeraphol said, “After talking with witnesses we have learned that the aircraft was trying to land. The aircraft failed to land as the wind was very strong. The aircraft then went back into the air but the engine stalled causing the plane to fall.
“The airpark is not far from the scene. I was told that the captain had good experience with thousands of flying hours behind him. He used to fly for commercial airlines before,” Gen Teeraphol said.
A friend of Capt Wattana’s, Nattapan Saneewong Na Ayuttaya, told The Phuket News, “Mr Wattana was a captain for THAI Airways before. After he retied, he came to live in Phuket and flew small aircraft here.
“He was also a special instructor of the Thalang Technical College’s Aviation Maintenance Department.”
Pitchayathida Pitchayodaecha, 40, a local resident who lives in the nearby Plernjan housing estate told The Phuket News, “I saw the aircraft flying round, which is normal. Not long ago I saw the aircraft again with a strange noise coming from the engine. The aircraft looked as if it was out of control as it was flying slower and slower. The aircraft first hit the top of a tree and then hit the ground so I called for help.”
According to the website www.jabirupacific.com, the J450 has a Gross Weight of 1,540 pounds and will seat four passengers, exceeding the requirements for Sport Pilots.