An off-duty flight instructor died when his single-engine light aircraft crashed while doing aerobatic maneuvers over Tai Po.
Cheuk Man-tat, 59, an experienced pilot and a senior Civil Aviation Department (CAD) trainer, plunged into the Plover Cover reservoir, Apple Daily reports.
Cheuk was found strapped to his seat, 16 meters underwater, and was pronounced dead after being brought ashore.
It was Hong Kong’s first fatal crash involving light aircraft. Marine police and CAD are investigating.
Cheuk, described by friends and colleagues as a passionate flyer, was doing maneuvers in a 2012 Czech-built Zlin Z42 aircraft owned by the Hong Kong Aviation Club (HKAC).
It was one of only two such models in Hong Kong for aerobatic exercises. The other is operated by CAD.
Cheuk rented the aircraft for 90 minutes from HKAC on Saturday and took off from a Shek Kong airstrip for Tolo Harbour.
Weather conditions were good, with wind speed at nine kilometers per hour and visibility above 10 kilometers, investigators said.
Police received a call at 2:13 p.m. that a group of Russian hikers had seen a plane go down about 100 meters offshore.
No explosions were reported.
Fire services division commander Chan Wai-ho said search and rescue efforts were hampered by poor visibility.
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