Three ill-fated chopper’s crew members posthumously promoted

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The Royal Thai Air Force has given eight-step posthumous promotions to three crew members of a helicopter who died after the craft crashed into the dense mountainous forest in Chanthaburi province while on a resupply mission on June 25.

T29-06-16PBS-1

Squadron Leader Pasit Techasen, the chopper’s pilot, was promoted an air marshal; Flight Lieutenant Alongkorn Chankrachang was promoted an air vice marshal; and Flight Sergeant (1st class) Visut Puttharaksa was promoted a group captain.

Besides the posthumous promotions, families of the three deceased officers will receive compensation from the Welfare Fund – three million baht for Pasit, 2.7 million baht for Alongkorn and 2.5 million baht for Visut.

After the chopper went missing on June 25 as it was delivering supplies to an Air Force’s radar station on Khao Chamao, search and rescue operations were launched by the air force with assistance from the army’s special force and marines. UAV was also deployed to help in the search.

It took the search parties four days before they finally located the crash site and the bodies of the three crew members who were flown by a helicopter to Sattahip naval base.

The victims’ bodies were flown to Bangkok Tuesday morning and later taken to Bhumibol hospital for an autopsy.