A U.S. Air Force pilot flying an Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucano safely ejected before the aircraft crashed during a training flight in Afghanistan, a U.S. military spokesman confirmed on Friday.
“The pilot ejected prior to the crash and was safely recovered,’’ the U.S. army in Afghanistan said.
The spokesman said that though the cause of the incident is under investigation, preliminary indications show that the aircraft crashed due to “mechanical” issues.
The U.S. army spokesman did not disclose where the crash occurred.
On Thursday, local officials in Afghanistan’s north-eastern Baghlan province confirmed that an army aircraft had crashed in the province’s Doshi district where Taliban militants have a huge presence.
The officials said the pilot rescued himself using a parachute.
The Afghan army did not comment on whether the U.S. instructor was flying the aircraft alone or with an Afghan pilot.
The A-29 light attack aircraft is used for air support and has two seats.
The U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan provides training, advice and assist mission to Afghan forces to enhance their capabilities in the fight against the insurgency in the country.
Currently, there are around 12,000 international troops from 38 countries including the U.S. stationed in Afghanistan.
The U.S. signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in February that paves the way for the withdrawal of all international troops from Afghanistan and, in exchange, the group should start intra-Afghan talks in a bid to end the 19-year conflict. (dpa/NAN)