Pilot confirmed killed in China air show crash

One of the pilots of a Chinese fighter jet which plunged to the ground and exploded at an air show was confirmed dead Saturday, state media reported. He was initially reported missing while his co-pilot ejected at the last minute and survived the crash Friday at the international air show in the northern city of Xian. No spectators were killed or injured in the crash which occurred two kilometres from the stands. A minute's silence was observed at the show in memory of the dead pilot, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting an official at the Yanliang aviation base. Xinhua said the plane was a two-seat, fighter-bomber Flying Leopard -- or JH-7 -- a model officially launched in December 1988. But state television CCTV said it was a Xiaolong ("Fierce Dragon") fighter jet -- or FC-1 -- which is the result of a joint Sino-Pakistani development programme that started in 1999. According to the People's Daily newspaper, some 100 foreign and domestic planes are being shown at the air show, and around 30 aircraft are putting on displays. China's aviation industry is expanding rapidly and the country is seen as one of the fastest growing markets for international passenger traffic. by Dan De Luce (c) 2011 AFP
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Source: AFP
Date: Oct 15, 2011