The Air Force's Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team gave a thrilling performance at an air festival in Taichung on Saturday, in its first public performance since a training mission in October 2014 ended in tragedy.
Flying a full formation of seven planes, the team performed several difficult stunts, including diving to a low of about 100 meters above ground and then flying upwards to simulate a mushrooming explosion, to the delight of around 100,000 spectators at Chingchuangang Base.
The aerobatics team had not been seen in public since Lt. Col. Chuang Bei-yuan (???) was killed when his AT-3 trainer aircraft collided with another AT-3 trainer during a training mission just over two years ago.
The Air Force also flew its Taiwan's indigenous fighter plane (IDF), the Mirage 2000 and F-16 at the event, which was co-sponsored by the Taichung City government and the Air Force 427 Tactical Fighter Wing.
President Tsai Ing-wen (???) attended the festival, accompanied by Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan(???), Chief of the General Staff Yen Te-fa (???), and Air Force Commander General Shen Yi-ming (???).
Tsai said promoting Taiwan's own defense industry is one of her administration's priorities, and cited Chingchuangang as a major base in achieving a more self-reliant national defense posture.
The president said Taichung is a stronghold of precision machinery, and many key players in Taiwan's efforts to build its own military planes are in the city.
She also took the opportunity to promote the campaign to recruit people for the Ministry of National Defense, saying it needed more talent.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel