Two KT-1 Air Force basic trainers crashed after colliding with each other, and all four pilots who tried to escape were killed.

Today (1st) around 1:32 PM, two KT-1 Air Force basic trainers took off from the Sacheon Education Command base in Gyeongsangnam-do.

Each trainer had two people on board: one student pilot and one instructor.

The two KT-1s collided in mid-air at about 1:37 pm, five minutes after takeoff, 6 km south of the base, over Jeongdong-myeon, Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Four people, including a student pilot and an instructor, attempted an emergency escape, but all four people on board died, the Air Force said.

The fire department dispatched two helicopters, 14 vehicles, and 35 personnel to the accident site to continue the search operation.

A fire broke out in a nearby building in the aftermath of the trainer crash, but was extinguished without any casualties.

The Air Force said it plans to establish a Flight Accident Response Headquarters headed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to investigate the exact cause of the accident.

The Air Force Basic Trainer KT-1 is the first domestic trainer and is a two-seater used by fighter pilot candidates.

It has been put into practice since 2000 and has been exported to Indonesia and Turkey.

Previously, in 2003, a crash occurred during KT-1 training, and one pilot died.

(Photo = provided by reader Hwangbae Park, Yonhap News)