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Turkish aerobatic jet crashes during training; pilot killed

NF-5 fighter jets of the Turkish Stars, Turkey's national aerobatics team, fly at the Bucharest International Air Show, in Bucharest, Romania, on July 28, 2018. One of the aerobatic jets crashed in central Turkey on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, killing its pilot, Turkey's defense ministry said.

VADIM GHIRDA/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 7, 2021

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish Air Force aerobatic jet crashed in central Turkey on Wednesday, killing its pilot, Turkey's defense ministry said.

The NF-5-type jet belonging to the Turkish Stars aerobatic team, went down during training, near the town of Karatay, in the central province of Konya. The cause of the crash was under investigation, the ministry said.

Addressing members of his ruling party shortly after the crash, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was deeply saddened by the news and led a brief, silent Muslim prayer for the deceased pilot.

The crash left debris scattered across an empty field. Television footage showed authorities inspecting the site, surrounded by firetrucks, ambulances and other vehicles.