By The Nation
Air Force spokesman Air Marshall Pongsak Semachai said two pilots and a mechanic on board had been slightly injured and were taken to hospital.
The AU-23 Peacemaker was returning from a mission in Pattani to Air Wing 56 command in Hat Yai when it suffered an engine malfunction, he said.
The turboprop aircraft had taken off from Pattani at 11.56am, but was forced to land just four minutes later close to Wat Bang Sala, in Hat Yai district’s Tambon Bang Phru.
The plane had been on a mission of the Ninth Air Force Taskforce in Pattani’s Bor Thong area, the spokesman added.
The Air Force has been using AU-23 aircraft for psychological warfare, light attacks and logistical support as they can take off and land using short runways.
The Air Force has received a total of AU-23s for anti-terrorism missions since 1972.