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UPDATE: Cause of plane crash believed to be engine problems

Tim Newton

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The plane, HS-PMS series JABIRU 450 named Butterfly 05, crashed yesterday morning (Saturday) killing the captain, Wattana Tinphang-Nga, and Flying Officer Narin Taweewat, while critically injuring two 18 and 19 year old students from Thalang Technical College. Initial investigations suggest that the plane crashed because of engine problems although aviation inspectors will have to conduct a full investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand first, including examining the plane’s maintenance and flight records.

A police report says they believe the plane was struck by high winds and nose-dived into the ground.

According to a Thai PBS report, “a witness who lives in the neighbourhood of the air strip, Ms Pitchayathida Pitchayodecha, said she saw the plane made a circular flight over the air strip, but did not take much attention to it until the plane came back again and, this time, she said she heard an unusually loud noise from the craft before it dived toward the ground.”

The 68 year old Captain Wattana was a high-experience pilot who had worked for Thai Airways for several years. Another casualty, officer Narin, was a teacher at the Thalang Technical Collegee. They flew two aircraft mechanic students, Adol Samae and Orawan Jinda.

The Managing Director of the Air Park, Suchart Raksa-Ngob, said that he’s very shocked to hear about the crash.

“There were 3 rounds that we flew from Tung Kwai Bin Air Park. The first 2 round were flown by me and he (Wattana) flew the last round at 10.05 am. This flight was arranged as a finale of the 30 intern students. I was so shocked to hear that the plane crashed,” he said.

“The plane belonged to Wattana’s daughter. He flew it from Lopburi on March 7 and this is not the first time he had travelled to Phuket using this plane. The plane has the capacity to fly for quite a long distance. The weather for flying this morning was fine and the flying route had no problem so I think it was because of the engine,” he noted.

Meanwhile, a witness who lives in Ploen Chan Village, where the plane crashed, 40 year old Pitchayathida Pitchayodecha, said the she heard the plane passing her house and it was louder than usual.

“It sounded strange so I went out to see. I saw the small plane was coming down close to our houses. One of its wings hit the tree behind my house and hit the ground with a thundering noise. I saw the plane was severely damaged and there were people hurt inside so I called the police.”

The Director of Vachira Hospital says that the two students, injured from the incident, were still in the intensive care units with one of them, Ardel Samae, in coma and awaiting further operations.

The investigation continues.

- Tim Newton

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 2,800 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 330 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger and Phuket Gazette.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. paulg

    March 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Dear Tim, I wish to take issue with the first version of this story that you posted yesterday shortly after the accident. Your reporting was clearly based on unfounded rumour and contained numerous false statements. The updated story above makes clear how off base that original story was, and how poorly it was researched. Captain Wattana was an extraordinary aviator and well regarded instructor. His long and distinguished career stands for itself. You are clearly an experienced journalist with a long career yourself. Only a full retraction and formal apology would be fitting in the circumstances. Anything less falls well below the well established minimum standards of your own profession and undermines the credibility of this publication.

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National

Executed 26 year old had grilled chicken and rice for final meal

The Thaiger & The Nation

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In the wake of Thailand’s first execution in nine years, a few more details have emerged about the prisoner’s last moments and of his family.

According to witnesses, the first man to be executed in Thailand in nine years was calm during the last few moments of his life.

Identified only as Thirasak by authorities, the 26 year old remained expressionless as he walked to a room for the fatal injection on Monday.

“We let him say farewell to his family that day,” said Department of Corrections director-general Naras Savestanae. He said Thirasak also chose his final meal – grilled chicken and sticky rice – and after finishing it, was taken directly to the execution room.

Thirasak was executed by lethal injection six years after he fatally stabbed and robbed Danudej Sukmak, who was a 17 year old schoolboy in Trang at the time.

The victim’s parents have never recovered from the pain of losing their son. At the time of the crime, Thirasak was 19 years old.

The execution broke the hearts of Thirasak’s family members.

“He made one last call to Mum just before he entered the execution room – but she didn’t answer the phone soon enough,” one of Thirasak’s sisters said.

She said Thirasak had, however, managed to talk on the phone to his first wife. They had two children together.

“When Mum answered the phone again on Monday, she was told to pick up his body. Mum hasn’t stopped crying,” the sister said.

Thirasak leaves behind his two wives, three children, his mother and sisters. His burial took place yesterday, immediately after his body was transported from Bang Kwang Prison in Nonthaburi to his hometown of Trang.

“I had never thought he would have been executed. Convicts of graver crimes are still alive,” Thirasak’s younger sister said yesterday.

His elder sister said she would have been able to accept his execution had other inmates on death row also been put to death.

“At the very least, prison officials should have allowed him to meet his family members one last time,” she said.

The sisters said they had kept in touch with Thirasak throughout his imprisonment.

“When he was locked up at Trang prison, we visited him often,” one of the sisters said. “But after he moved to Bang Kwang Prison in Nonthaburi, we could not make the visit due to travel expenses. We exchanged letters instead.”

A recent letter from Thirasak mentioned his love and care for his family and also told his siblings to take good care of their mother.

“Living behind bars, my caring concerns cannot actually reach her,” he said in the letter.

Thirasak had also intended to study while behind bars, according to his family.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation

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National

mu Space wants to send your name to space

The Thaiger

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Space and satellite company mu Space is sending its first experimental payload beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and it wants to include a list of space fans’ names on it.

The Thai-based company is encouraging the public to write their names on a signature board installed at mu Space’s booth (Experiencing Zone 4) during the Techsauce Global Summit. The event is happening on June 22-23 at The Centara Grand at Central World in Bangkok.

A video posted by mu Space on YouTube explains that the names gathered from the Techsauce Global Summit  will be flown to space.

“This space initiative is the first in Asia and this is something Thais should be proud of. It shows Thailand’s capability to join the space race and create history”, said mu Space’s project lead Chaiyos Kosalakood.

“mu Space will send my name to space, your name, and the names of everyone who wants to join this space mission. This initiative is an initial step to make our dream of travelling to space a reality. We would like to invite everyone, both the local people and foreign expatriates in Thailand, to be part of this,” Chaiyos continues.

If all goes according to plan, mu Space’s payload will reach 100km above the Earth’s surface, where a reduced effect of gravity or weightlessness can be experienced. 

mu Space’s payload box weighs 11kg and will be stowed aboard a sub-orbital space rocket. Aside from the list of names gathered from the Techsauce Global Summit, the payload will include several scientific experiments from universities and space research agencies based in Thailand.

“Later on, we will open a competition for students to research and develop their own space products. The winning product will get a chance to be flown outside of the Earth. mu Space will make that happen,” Chaiyos concluded.

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National

Sadvertising: The art of making us cry and selling stuff

The Thaiger

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“Sadvertising is a consumer advertising trend in which ad creators are using a certain set of strategies to play on people’s emotions and touch off feelings of sadness, melancholy or wistfulness. Touching or emotional advertising has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies work to create strong emotional ties around their products. This is based on a belief that advertising that elicits an emotional reaction from viewers is more likely to be shared, particularly online and over social media. By attempting to reach consumers on a deeper level, sadvertising represents an attempt to gain their attention in an increasingly ad-cluttered world.”

Sadvertising is something that Thai marketeers do very well. There have been some famous ‘Sads’, like this one…

One of the big ideas behind ‘sadvertising’ is the sudden shift in advertising across generations. Not too long ago, comedy and laughter were the most common advertising strategies. Sadvertising is a kind of logical progression, although it doesn’t really work the same way that comedy did. But sometimes you can combine the two…

While there is a lot of potential for innovating advertising to bring out a wider range of emotions, some experts point out that there are inherent limitations to sadvertising that do exist with comic advertising. While many forms of comedy can be considered harmless in advertising, sadness is, at its heart, a negative emotion based on negative outcomes, which is something that marketers have classically avoided.

That means that in sadvertising, marketers must walk a fine line between tugging at consumers’ heartstrings and making them feel depressed. And, mostly of course, they and make sure you have that happy ending.

Here’s one more (there are plenty of others). Have your handkerchief ready for this one…

 

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