Wednesday February 21, 2024

US F-16 fighter jet crashes during training exercise in South Korea

No casualties were reported as the pilot ejected from jet and was soon rescued

By Web Desk
December 11, 2023
This representational picture shows an F-16 fighter jet. — Unsplash
This representational picture shows an F-16 fighter jet. — Unsplash

A US F-16 fighter jet on Monday crashed in South Korea after experiencing an "in-flight emergency" during a training exercise but the pilot was rescued after making an emergency escape, US military said.

The US Air Force revealed in a statement that the military aircraft involved in the crash was an F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing.

"The pilot ejected the aircraft. The pilot has been recovered by Republic of Korea Maritime Forces, awake and in stable condition," the statement said, adding he would be evaluated further back at the base.

"We are grateful for the safe recovery of our Airman by our ROK Allies and that the pilot is in good condition," said Colonel Matthew C Gaetke, the 8th fighter wing's commander, according to the statement.

The USAF said that the cause behind the in-flight emergency remains unknown.

"The incident will be thoroughly investigated," it said, adding that the name of the pilot would not be released, nor would further details about his condition.

"The jet crashed into the waters after taking off from an air base in Gunsan, 178 kilometers south of Seoul," the Yonhap agency previously reported, referring to waters in the Yellow Sea.

No casualties were reported as, according to Yonhap, the pilot ejected from the jet and was rescued.

South Korea´s defence ministry declined to comment.

Previously, a USF-16 jet crashed in May in a farmland area south of Seoul while conducting a routine training exercise. There were no additional casualties from the collision, and the pilot safely ejected.

Washington, which has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea to assist in defending it from the nuclear-armed North, is Seoul's main security ally.

Following a fatal crash that claimed the lives of eight US airmen, the US military declared last week that it was grounding its fleet of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in nearby Japan.