A private plane has crashed in the Hua Yai area, killing its pilot.
Between 6.30 and 7 in the evening today, Saturday, an Ultra Light Kestrel Hawk reported an engine malfunction shortly before crashing in a field. Landing Nose first in the ground, the pilot suffered fatal injuries and was dispatched to hospital where he subsequently is reported to have died, as family members including his wife were at his side. No other passengers are reported to have been on board
The Pilot has been named as Mr. Nawaporn “Neil” Sawaetwong, a 55 year old who was flying from Pattaya airpark in the white, single engine, plane which is now being examined by forensics experts.
Nawaporn Sawaetawong was an experienced pilot having passed the flying examinations in 1991 and followed up with further licensing for Helicopters and seaplanes. His records show over 2000 hours in the air including work with experimental planes, such as the one which crashed.
In 2006 he established his own Airpark in Pattaya which has become an extremely popular destination for flying enthusiasts. He was also the President of The Pattaya Pilot Club association and his airpark was registered as an Authorized Training Organization (ATO) for Private Pilot Training in June 2010
The Kestrel Hawk, the crashed “ultra Light” plane, was a two seater Bi-Plane ( two sets of wings one above the other) and had the engine mounted in a “pushing” formation ( Prop facing the rear) and above the fuselage, which allowed it to be converted for landing on water if desired.
With a top speed 90 MPH and described by pilots as a pleasure to fly, the crashed model was first spotted in Thailand in Pattaya in April 2011. Prior to that it had been originally registered in Canada and transferred to US registration in 2009 before being resold in January 2011
The Plane, a Kestrel Hawk, was first introduced in 1989 by its Canadian designers and is catagorised as an “ultra light”. It was voted the best Ultra light of the year. Subsequently built in the USA where it was redesignated as “experimental or “kit built “ by the US Authorities.
This is the second private plane crash which has resulted in a fatality in the area in a short period of time. Just 2 months ago an experienced Microlight pilot was killed in a flight over the harbour area of the city