WORLD


Taiwan grounds Mirage fighters after jet crashes into sea

Baku, March 14, AZERTAC

Taiwan's air force grounded its fleet of Mirage 2000 fighter jets on Monday after one crashed into the sea, the second combat aircraft loss in the space of three months though this time the pilot was rescued, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The air force said the French-built aircraft took off just after 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) on a training mission from the Chihhang air base in the southeastern city of Taitung and reported it had to return after a mechanical problem.

The pilot ejected over the sea south of the air base and was rescued safe and in good condition by helicopter, it added.

Air force Inspector-General Liu Hui-chien told reporters the Mirage fleet would be grounded while an investigation was carried out.

Taiwan received its first of 60 Mirage jets in 1997, though they have been upgraded several times since then. Six have since been lost in accidents.

In January, the air force suspended combat training for its much larger F-16 fleet after a recently upgraded model of the fighter jet crashed into the sea, killing the pilot.

 

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