A Royal Thai Air Force F-5THF Super Tigris crashed at 1100hrs local time on December 3 while performing a four-ship training flight over the Chandy Range in Lopburi. The pilot ejected at low level, as a result of which he was injured because his parachute did not have time to fully deploy. He suffered a broken leg and a local rescue team took care of him before he was carried away on a stretcher. His parachute was seen hanging from a tree after the accident.
The aircraft involved was serial number 21105/91692/Kh18kh2-5/24 (c/n TV.1001, USAF/79-1692) from the 2nd Air Division/21 Wing/211 Squadron ‘Hawk’ based at Ubon Ratchathani Air Base. This was the first aircraft to be upgraded under the Super Tigris programme and had been rolled out two years ago.
Under the F-5T Tigris programme, which was launched in 2003, Israel’s Elbit Systems upgraded 12 single-seat F-5Es and three twin-seat F-5Fs to F-5T Tigris and F-5TF Tigris standard, respectively. A further, more advanced upgrade to F-5TH and F-5TFH Super Tigris then followed, with an initial contract for seven aircraft, modernised from 2010, with a contract for four more awarded in 2017. The crashed aircraft was originally an F-5F Tiger II, then converted to an F-5TF before becoming the first to be converted to F-5THF Super Tigris.