(RepublicanView.org) – Bloomberg recently reported that US fighter jet has crashed off the coast of South Korea following an “in-flight emergency,” according to the military. Nobody was killed in the incident, and the pilot ejected safely from the aircraft. Colonel Matthew Gaetke said the pilot was conscious and was transported to a local military hospital for assessment and treatment. Gaetke also thanked the South Korean rescue forces for rescuing the unnamed pilot.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet fell into the water near Gunsan, around 275 kilometers from Seoul, the capital city. The US Air Force’s Kunsan Air Base is located in Gunsan, and Colonel Gaetke said his next priority is the plane’s recovery from the sea.
Officials said the cause of the crash is under investigation, but records show it is the third such incident in less than a year near South Korea. In December, another F-16 smashed into the sea of the country’s coast in what was also described as an “in-flight emergency.” On that occasion, the pilot likewise ejected safely and was rescued by South Korean maritime troops.
Similarly, last May, an F-16 crashed into an agricultural area during training near the Osan Air Base just south of Seoul. There were no fatalities or injuries in that incident, which was also said to be under investigation.
Produced by Lockheed Martin, F-16 jets make up about half of the US Air Force’s inventory. There are currently 738 of the jets in the American fleet, and an average of three are lost every year to incidents or mishaps.
Between 2014 and 2019, the F-16 Fighting Falcon was involved in several crashes, prompting an industry magazine to question the US Air Force (USAF) on its safety. The Air and Space Forces publication reported in 2019 that the USAF had no data to suggest any significant safety flaws in the aircraft and said this is under constant review. The F-16 System Program Office said the jet is regularly evaluated and analyzed by the aeronautics division of Lockheed Martin.
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