That is the designation of the F5F that crashed today.
I was on the roof of my home, shooting photographs. I took a series of photos of this very aircraft that was flying at very low altitude. In fact, my instincts told me that it must have crashed but I didn’t hear or see anything to indicate that it had.
Later I found out from the TV news that it had crashed, and unfortunately the two pilots were killed.
Through a friend of mine, we contacted the Taiwan military who came to our home for copies of my photographs and to hear my account of what happened.
Later, during at lunch at Shao Hui’s we heard that a woman in the neighborhood was bragging that some news station paid her NT$200,000 for her crappy digital photos taken with a pocket cam. I wonder how much my 10.2 mp photos taken with my Nikon D80 and 300mm lens are worth?
To me, their value is in the hopes that they will clear the pilots of error.
I also want to give my personal take on the incident. I saw the jet in its final moments. The pilots had time to eject. They chose not to. Instead, they flew their aircraft into the ground on the base, thus sparing countless hundreds of lives in the crowded Hukou area that would have been lost in the crash and subsequent explosion.
When I look at the photos of 5371, I see 2 heroes in the cockpit….
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