The jet was flying a training mission when it crashed while trying to land on a runway at Dezful Air Base in the southwestern Khuzestan Province on Sunday, Iranian media reports.
The pilot, an Iranian colonel, died in the crash, the commander of Dezful’s police told Fars News Agency.
The co-pilot survived the incident, and was rushed to the hospital.
The spokesperson for the air base said that the jet suffered a “technical malfunction” while in flight, and commended the crew for managing to bring the plane to the runway, avoiding greater destruction.
The authorities have launched a probe into the cause of the crash.
The crash happened a week after Iran officially unveiled its first domestically-made fighter plane, the Kowsar. Due to striking similarities to the twin-seat F-5s, some observers suspect that the warplane is actually a remodeled version of the US-made jet.
Iran began buying F-5s in the mid-1960s, and ultimately received over 100 jets from Washington before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The planes were later actively used during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988).
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