China’s first woman pilot of a J-10 fighter jet has died in a flying accident. Yu Xu, 30, who was born in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, was a member of the August 1 aerobatics team of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
- Yu was the first of four women who are certified to fly the J-10, a single-engine multi-role jet that entered service in 2004 and is considered the first Chinese domestic fighter to rival Western fighters in its capabilities.
- She was one of few female pilots who could fly domestically-made fighter jets, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported, citing a report by Sichuan Communist Youth League.
- Yu’s plane plunged to the ground after an unspecified accident, and she was unable to eject in time.
- The incident occurred in Hebei province on November 12, the day after China’s air force day. Yu applied to become a pilot in the air force in 2005 and four years later, became one of China’s first 16 female pilots of fighter jets, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
- Ms Yu hit the wing of another aircraft while trying to pull open the parachute. Ms Yu, from Sichuan province, joined the air force in 2005. She was the first of four female pilots to qualify to fly the two-seater, multi-role J-10 fighter jet.