An NF-5 of the Turkish Air Force aerobatic display team Turkish Stars” has crashed at Konya.
An NF-5 aircraft, belonging to the Turkish Air Force demonstration team “Türk Yıldızları” (Turkish Stars) crashed on Wednesday, Apr. 7, 2021, in the central province of Konya. The pilot died in the incident, the Turkish Ministry of Nation Defense confirmed on social media.
Konya’da eğitim uçuşu sırasında kaza kırıma uğrayan Hava Kuvvetlerimize ait NF-5 uçağımızın pilotu şehit olmuştur. Kahraman Pilotumuza Allah’tan rahmet, kederli ailesine, Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerimize ve Yüce Türk Milletine başsağlığı ve sabır dileriz.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) April 7, 2021
According to the Turkish authorities, the NF-5A Freedom Fighter crashed at 14.15LT, during a training flight. The reasons of the incident are being investigated.
Based at 3rd Main Jet Base Command Konya, an airfield in the Central Anatolia region, famous for being the headquarters of the Anatolian Eagle exercise series, the Turkish Air Force demo team was formed on Nov. 7, 1992 and was named the Turkish Stars on Jan. 11, 1993. The team has a full squadron status and is designated the 134 Akrotim Filo (134th Aerobatic Team Squadron). The team has always flown the NF-5 Freedom Fighter. The first display, with four aircraft took place on Jun. 19, 1993; since 2004, the show is carried out with 8 aircraft.
The jets assigned to the team are Canadair NF-5 fighter planes obtained from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and modified for the display role: the modifications include the removal of the guns and chaff/flare dispensers, changes to the cockpit, and conversion of the typical wingtip fuel tanks to become part of the smoke system. Beginning in 2010, the single seater NF-5A and two-seater NF-5B aircraft underwent the NF-5-2000 life extension upgrade: they are currently designated NF-5A-2000 and NF-5B-2000. Although the team performs with jets, the team can count on a number of aircraft between 12 and 16 (with 10 being the single seaters).