Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana has appointed a Board of Investigation to probe the crash of a training aircraft in Katale this afternoon in which the pilot was killed.

The A PT-6 trainer aircraft belonging to the No. 1 Flying Training Wing at SLAF Academy China Bay had crashed near the Janaranjana Tank in Sooriyapura, Kantale, the Air Force said in a statement.

The aircraft which took off from the China Bay airfield at around 13.05p.m. today had lost radio communication with the air traffic control tower at China Bay at approximately 13.15 p.m. before being reported to have crashed. The site is approximately 14 nautical miles away from SLAF Academy China Bay and the pilot of the aircraft was a trainee Officer Cadet who was on a solo training mission.

Officer Cadet Amarakoon KRSVB who was the trainee pilot on this training flight was airlifted to the District General Hospital Trincomalee by an SLAF Bell 212 helicopter by medical and rescue personnel of the SLAF, where it was proclaimed that he had succumbed to injuries sustained during the crash.

Officer Cadet Amarakoon was a past pupil of Kegalle Maha Vidyalaya and had joined the Sri Lanka Air Force in January 2019. He had commenced his flying training in July of the same year.

There was no damage to public property or any other persons due to the crash, SLAF said.