By Ko Lin
The bodies of two missing AT-3 pilots were retrieved and airlifted to the Gangshan Air Force Academy in Kaohsiung City Sunday noon as family members of the deceased waited in solemn despair upon their arrival.
In full military honors, the bodies of Major Wang Chin-chun and First Lieutenant Huang Chun-jung were lowered onboard a S-70C helicopter to an awaiting ambulance as their colleagues from the Air Force saluted and wept through the passing of their brothers-in-arms.
The wreckage of the AT-3 plane was discovered after a helicopter team had located the crash site around 6 a.m. Saturday. The ground rescue teams made up of special forces soldiers also managed to find the two bodies inside around noon.
Around 5 a.m. Sunday, an Air Force S-70C rescue helicopter hovering above the crash site has had to abandon its attempt to airlift the dead pilots to return to its airbase in Hualien to refuel. However, the crew returned around nine in the morning and on their second attempt, the airlift was successful.
The two deceased officers are to be transported to a mortuary in Kaohsiung.
Mayor Wang, 32, is survived by his wife, daughter and nine-month-old son.
Meanwhile, First Lieutenant Huang, 23, from Yunlin County, was single.