The body of Sqn Ldr Naruepol Lueadkusol, the pilot who died in the Royal Thai Air Force jet trainer crash in Saraphi has been given an honor guard today at Chiang Mai International Airport as he is now be praised for potentially saving dozens of lives.
The crash, at 3:55 p.m. yesterday, July 11 saw an L-39, a high-performance jet trainer developed in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War come down behind houses near Wat Pa Poe in Moo 2 Tha Wang Tang.
The other person on the aircraft, Wg Cdr Thanawat Khunkhunthod, successfully ejected for the plane while Sqn Ldr Lueadkusol stayed on board.
It’s now believed that Sqn Ldr Lueadkusol remained in the aircraft in an attempt to guide the aircraft away from houses and built-up areas, in doing sacrificing his own life to save others.
According to reports, Lueadkusol was aiming to land the aircraft in the Ping River, coming very close to do so. While not succeeding in putting the aircraft in the Ping, he did, nonetheless, manage to prevent the aircraft striking homes, wats or businesses in the area which may have resulted in a major disaster.
From the point where the aircraft first encountered problems, believed to be due to engine failure, to the point where it crashed is a densely packed area of Chiang Mai.
The body of Sqn Ldr Lueadkusol has been flown to Bangkok where he will receive a full military and royal funeral with honors. His body will be held in the Royal Palace for seven days and will be tended to for a period by His Majesty Maha Vajiralongkorn.