T HE Cambodian air force buried "a man of high patriotic convictions" - Brigadier
General Tes Chanthan - on March 7, after a tragic plane crash at Kampong Thom
province three days before.
Gen Chanthan, 43, was piloting a P-92
surveillance plane that suffered a technical failure, clipped the top of a tree
and crashed to the ground in flames.
Another man, Gen Chanthan's
co-pilot, was severely injured and was later transferred to a hospital in
The crash took place nearby where First Prime Minister Prince
Norodom Ranariddh had just finished a ceremony presenting gifts to farmers in
Chanthan's body was cremated the same day, at a temple
in Stoeng district. His ashes were buried in Veal Sbov commune, ten kms east of
Phnom Penh, after a mixed Buddhist and Christian ceremony.
"He was a man
of high patriotic convictions and did a lot for our nation," Ek Sereywath,
secretary of state of Defense, said.
"He was a man everyone trusted,
respected and could be friends with."
"His death is a great loss for me
and for the country. I regret it very much," he added.
married two years ago and had one daughter.
He became a co-pilot of C-47
aircraft in 1974. He went to live in the United States in 1975 and earned a
Masters degree in commerce in 1982.
In 1989, he joined the Armée
Nationale pour le Kampuchea Indépendant, the Funcinpec army, at Site-B in
After the formation of the new government, he was appointed
deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Air Force in charge of training