SHAH ALAM: Thai T-50s Safely Home. The two Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) T-50TH advanced trainers have safely made it home today after almost two week stay at Kuantan airport due to technical difficulties.
The two T-50THs flown by four South Korean pilots, took off from Kuantan airport in the morning and arrived at the Takhli airbase in the Nakhon Sawan province, Thai central about noon today (Jan, 25). A welcoming ceremony was held to celebrate the arrival of both aircraft.
Takhli is the base for the 401 light attack squadron which flew the L-39 Albatross, of which the T-50TH are likely to replace. The two T-50THs which arrived today carried the tail number 40101 and 40102 respectively. The base is also the home of the 402 Reconnaissance Squadron, with the Lear Jet 35A and IAI201 and the 403 Fighter Squadron, which flies the Block 15 F-16A/Bs.
As reported previously the two T-50TH were flying to Thailand on Jan.11 when they made an emergency diversion than a planned stop over. The two jet trainers had suffered severe weather while flying over the South China Sea and the pilots had decided to divert to to check the aircraft.
One of the two RTAF T-50 at Kuantan airbase on Jan 11. via @KaptRahmat
Visual inspections confirmed their fears and Korean Aerospace had already told RTAF that the delivery had been delayed indefinitely until thorough checks could be done. What is not clear is whether one or both had suffered the damage.
Further reports from Thailand suggested that the aircraft had suffered FOD (foreign object damage) on the engine, prompting the RTAF chief to demand KAI replaced it with a new one. This indicate one suffered damage to its engine though it does not meant the other one had not suffered any damage as well.
It cannot be confirmed whether KAI had indeed replace the engines of even one or both aircraft while they were at Kuantan.
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