China’s first female J-10 fighter pilot remembered as ‘revolutionary martyr’

2016-11-15 18:30 GMT+8  to 
Editor Meng Yaping
China’s first female J-10 fighter pilot Yu Xu, who died in a flying accident during routine flight training on Saturday, has been proclaimed as a “revolutionary martyr”, said China’s air force on Tuesday.
Yu Xu, born in 1986 in Chongzhou city, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was one of the few female pilots who could fly domestically-made fighter jets, People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said via China’s social media Weibo on Tuesday afternoon.
Yu joined the army in September 2005 as a student at the PLA Air Force Aviation University, and graduated in 2009. She had served as a flight squadron leader.
China’s first female J-10 fighter pilot Yu Xu  is remembered as a “revolutionary martyr” on Tuesday.(XINHUA/SHEN LING)
During Saturday’s routine training, Yu’s plane plunged into the ground near Tangshan, in north China’s Hebei Province. Although the pilot in the front cabin managed to parachute and survived, Yu, who was in the rear cabin, failed to eject on time, and hit the wing of another plane when trying to eject.
Yu’s death occurred less than a fortnight after she appeared at Airshow China in Zhuhai earlier this month, flying a double-seater J-10 as part of her aerobatic team’s performance.
China’s first female J-10 fighter pilot Yu Xu  is remembered as a “revolutionary martyr” on Tuesday.(XINHUA/SHEN LING)
The 30-year-old pilot made her debut flying over Tian’an men Square in the grand military parade in October 2009, marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China. She also appeared in CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala in 2010, together with another 15 female pilots.
Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force, said all air force members deeply mourned Yu's death, while the air force will continue to faithfully fulfill its mission.
According to a previous interview with CCTV, Yu said she never felt any regrets about becoming a pilot.
"Sometimes I'm envious of people the same age, but that is only a momentary feeling. I have chosen a different way of life, a different occupation, and I have different pursuits [in life] ... I don't feel regret choosing to fly," she said.
Yu was saluted as a hero on Sina Weibo, as people across the country mourned her. “Rest in peace. You are the brightest star in the sky,” wrote one Weibo user.
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