Pakistan Air Force Wing Commander Noman Akram was martyred when his F-16 fighter jet crashed near Shakarparian here on Wednesday morning, an air force spokesman said in a statement.
The plane which crashed near the chand-tara jungle located in the area, was carrying out routine exercises for the March 23 parade when it crashed, the air force said.
Police and rescue officials cordoned off the crash site. A board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of accident, the PAF said. “Wing Commander Nauman Akram was the only pilot in the aircraft, the spokesman added.
Funeral prayer of wing commander, Noman Akram were offered in Islamabad which was attended by Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Nadeem Raza, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood and other high-ranking officers.
Later, the body of Noman Akram was taken to his native area for burial. The martyred wing commander is survived by a widow and two children. Akram’s father had also served Pakistan Army and retired as brigadier rank. The pilot’s funeral prayers will also be offered at Sargodha base, whereas, he will be laid to rest in Lahore.
President Arif Alvi and PM Imran have expressed thier condolences to the family of the pilot, Noman Akram and prayed for patience for the bereaved family.
Meanwhile,Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also paid a glowing tribute on martyrdom of brave heart Wing Commander Noman Akram in the line of duty. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the COAS said “Laying one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice one can make for defence of the motherland.” The COAS paid glowing tribute on shahadat of brave heart Wing Commander Noman Akram in the line of duty. The F-16 serves as the premier air defence fighter in the PAF and the first batch was acquired in the 1980s. The air force operates multiple versions of the aircraft, with the Block 52s being the most modern.
Footage on social media showed a plume of smoke billowing into the sky after the plane hit the ground having apparently attempted a loop. The F-16 jets are among the most valuable hardware in the Pakistani military’s arsenal and the country has a fleet of about 50 — each worth at least $40 million.
There were no casualties on the ground or damage to property, according to an air force statement. Footage on social media and local TV stations showed black smoke rising from a tree-filled area under overcast skies. One video appeared to show the plane pulling out of a steep dive before heading behind a hill, then the roar of the jet engine ends in a thump followed by a ball of fire.
Pakistan’s air force has been on high alert since last February, when India launched airstrikes inside Pakistan. The strikes targeted Pakistan-based militants responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian troops in Indian-administered portion of Kashmir.
At the time, Pakistan retaliated and shot down two Indian air force planes. One Indian pilot was captured and later released. But tensions have continued to remain high between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over the disputed Kashmir region, which is divided between them and claimed by both in its entirety.
Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir after gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
”Laying one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice one can make for defence of the motherland. May his soul rest in peace. My thoughts and sincere prayers are for the bereaved family.” COAS