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Home NATIONALAir force suspends training by Hawk Jets sine die
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Fri, 15 Nov, 2013 12:02:23 AM
FTimes-STT Report, November 15
Hawk training jets. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The air force authority on Thursday decided to suspend all kinds of training by Hawk Jet fighter planes for an indefinite period following the crash of two Hawk jets the day before.
The fighters will remain grounded until the authority makes sure that the technical glitches were not responsible for the collision on Wednesday, air force sources said. 
“Suspension of flying is a normal procedure in case of an accident,” said Major  Mikko Pekkala, head of the investigating team formed to look into the accident.
Meanwhile, the six-member investigation team led by Pekkala conducted field research on Thursday and took statements from the two pilots of the fighter planes.
Pekkala believed that the investigation would take a long time and only the field investigation would take at least several days.
The authority also declared the zone, where the accident occurred, isolated and flying above the area had been banned until further notice, sources said.
The investigating team also preserved the debris and parts of the two hawk jets for further investigation.
The Finnish Air Force has been using British-made Hawk aircrafts for about three decades. Over this period, five air force men had been killed in 12 accidents of Hawk jets.
An air force captain was killed and another sustained injuries when two Hawk jets collided during a training exercise in the Salamajärvi area in Perho Wednesday afternoon.
The deceased was a 30 years old training instructor with 800 hours of flying experience with Hornet, air force sources said.
The pilot of other fighter, however, managed to eject successfully while a third fighter managed to keep a distance with the collision and landed safely.
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