US F-16 fighter jet crashes off South Korea's Gunsan; pilot rescued

World Wednesday 31/January/2024 07:50 AM
US F-16 fighter jet crashes off South Korea's Gunsan; pilot rescued

Seoul: A US F-16 fighter jet on Wednesday crashed in waters off South Korea's west coast, South Korea-based Yonhap News Agency reported citing the US Air Force.

According to the report, the pilot, however, managed to eject from the fighter jet before it crashed and was rescued.

The jet assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing in Kunsan Air Base, about 180 kms south of Seoul, experienced an 'in-flight emergency' over the Yellow Sea and crashed at approximately 8:41 am, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs said in a release, as per Yonhap News Agency.

Through joint rescue efforts by South Korean and US officials, the pilot ejected safely from the aircraft and was rescued around 9:30 am (local time).

According to the US military, the pilot is in stable condition and an investigation is currently underway to find out what caused the incident.

8th Fighter Wing commander Colonel Matthew C. Gaetke said, "We are very thankful to the Republic of Korea rescue forces and all of our teammates who made the swift recovery of our pilot possible. Now we will shift our focus to search and recovery of the aircraft."

The incident marked the third US F-16 crash in South Korea in a year.

In December, an F-16 of the US 8th Fighter Wing crashed into the Yellow Sea during routine training due to an in-flight emergency.

In May, an F-16 of the US 51st Fighter Wing crashed near Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometres south of Seoul.

There were no casualties in both cases as the pilots managed to eject from the aircraft.