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  4. US pilot safely ejects before F-16 crashed into the sea off South Korea

US pilot safely ejects before F-16 crashed into the sea off South Korea

The pilot took off from the air base, used jointly by the US and South Korean air forces, on a routine training flight and was forced to eject from the aircraft after experiencing an unspecified in-flight emergency.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Published on: December 11, 2023 11:27 IST
US Air Force’s F-16 fighter takes off during an annual joint air exercise “Max Thunder” between Sou
Image Source : AP US Air Force’s F-16 fighter takes off during an annual joint air exercise “Max Thunder” between South Korea and the US at Kunsan Air Base in Gunsa.

A US Air Force pilot safely ejected on Monday before his F-16 fighter jet crashed into the sea off South Korea's southwestern coast, US and South Korean military officials said. The unidentified pilot was recovered by South Korean maritime forces and was “awake and in stable condition,” the US 8th Fighter Wing said in a statement. It said the pilot was being returned to Kunsan Air Base near the southwestern port city of Gunsan, where he would be evaluated further.

The pilot took off from the air base, used jointly by the US and South Korean air forces, on a routine training flight and was forced to eject from the aircraft after experiencing an unspecified in-flight emergency. The 8th Fighter Wing, which is composed of two F-16 squadrons, said the cause of the in-flight emergency is being investigated.

“We are grateful for the safe recovery of our Airman by our ROK Allies and that the pilot is in good condition,” Colonel Matthew C. Gaetke, the 8th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement, referring to the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name. 

US military grounds entire fleet of Osprey aircraft 

A US Air Force Osprey aircraft crashed off southern Japan on November 29 during a training mission, killing all eight people on board. This prompted the US military to ground all of its Osprey V-22 helicopters. The Air Force said it was unknown how long the aircraft would be grounded. It said the standdown was expected to remain in place until the investigation determined the cause of the Japan crash and made recommendations to allow the fleet to return to operations.

The US-made Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster, like an aeroplane, during flight.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: US military grounds entire fleet of Osprey aircraft as its distinctive design killed over 50 troops

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