Taiwan grounds F-16 fighter fleet after jet crashes into sea

Baku, January 12, AZERTAC

Taiwan has grounded its 140 F-16 fighter jets after an upgraded model of the plane crashed into the sea on Tuesday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The F-16V fighter jet went missing after taking a flight for routine training on Tuesday afternoon, Taiwan’s National Rescue Command Center (NRCC) said, adding the debris of the missing jet was found on Wednesday.

After 30 minutes of its flight from the Chiayi Air Base in southern Taiwan, the jet, piloted by Capt. Chen Yi, 28, disappeared from radar screens after which a search and rescue operation was launched.

However, the NRCC had said residents of the southwestern Chiayi city witnessed that the jet crash into the sea near Aogu Wetland in the Dongshi Township.

“Rescuers found debris belonging to a missing Air Force F-16V fighter on Wednesday morning but there were no signs of its pilot,” Taiwan Focus quoted the NRCC as saying.

Helicopters and ships have been searching for the pilot.

The Taiwanese military said the weather conditions were “good and there was high visibility” when the jet took off.

“There was no indication the pilot ejected from the jet and no mayday call was made,” air force Inspector General Liu Hui-chien said.

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