F-5 fighter jet pilot dies in training accident in Spain

On Nov. 2, a Northrop F-5M aircraft belonging to the 23th Wing of the Spanish Air Force (Talavera la Real Air Base), suffered an accident that killed one of his crew, Major and instructor Angel Alvarez Raigada, married and with two children. He was accompanied by his student, Lieutenant Sergio Santamaria, who was injured and remains in the Hospital in Badajoz.

The Technical Research Committee on Military Aircraft Accidents (CITAAM) continues its work to determine the exact causes and circumstances of the mishap. Although under the current regulations, no data may be provided as the research remains open, initial hypothesis suggests there was an engine failure.

Image credit: Spanish Air Force

The most recent crash of a F-5 was on Jan. 27, 2006, when a Captain and a Lieutenant, instructor and student, died in a crash while conducting a practice flight over the mountains of southern Badajoz.

On Apr. 30, 2003, another F-5 crashed near the base of Talavera la Real, killing the pilot and sole occupant, a Captain instructor.

That same year, on January 22, a Lieutenant instructor died and a 2nd Lieutenant student suffered slightly injuries when their F5 crashed near the town of Santa Marta de los Barros.

The light supersonic fighter aircraft F-5A/B Freedom Fighter is a simple, lightweight two-seater, made in Spain since 1970 by Aeronautical Constructions SA (CASA) under license from the U.S. company “Northrop” which began to build them in the early sixties.

Image credit: Spanish Air Force

The F-5 of the Spanish Air Force has undergone a complete modernization of its avionics especially to suit the teaching functions of training and aggressor aircraft as a step towards next-generation fighters such as the Eurofighter.

In its modernization, the plane integrates new equipment, including navigation systems VOR / ILS and TACAN, communication systems V / UHF, multifunction displays, MDP mission computer, integrated inertial EGI system (INS / GPS), radio altimeter, presentation HUD, new virtual radar for training. Also a new management systems and aircraft control, control systems and throttles levers (HOTAS), video recording systems and mission planning. This new version of the aircraft is called F-5M.

All fighter pilots that currently flies in the Spanish Air Force were formed in the F-5M.

El Lince Analista for TheAviationist.com