ISLAMABAD, Nov. 24 – A female Pakistani air force pilot was killed on Tuesday when her trainer jet crashed near the central town of Mianwali, the military said, the first such loss for the country’s tiny community of women pilots.
The crash happened during “routine operational training”, the air force said in a statement. A second pilot survived.
“Squadron Leader Saqib Abbasi and Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar were on a routine operational training mission when it encountered a serious in-flight emergency during the final stages of the mission,” the air force said.
“Ensuring safety of life and property of civilian population on ground, both the pilots ejected and the aircraft crashed near Kundian, Mianwali.”
Mukhtiar is the first female pilot of the Pakistan air force to be killed while on duty. The air force had 19 women pilots in 2013, the last year for which the figure was immediately available.
The crash is the latest deadly accident to hit Pakistan‘s military.
In May, a military helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect a tourism project crashed, killing seven people, including the ambassadors of Norway and Philippines.
In August, another military helicopter being used as an air ambulance crashed near the northern district of Mansehra, killing 12 people.