Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Taiwan Halts Training on US-Made F-16V Viper Fighters After Jet Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing | Farsnews Agency

Taiwan Halts Training on US-Made F-16V Viper Fighters

(FNA)- Taiwan’s Air Force grounded its entire fleet of F-16 fighters after one of its most advanced models plummeted into the sea on Tuesday afternoon, seemingly taking its pilot with it.

According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), an F-16V “Viper” fighter disappeared off radar screens at 3:23 pm on Tuesday afternoon, about 30 minutes after taking off from Chiayi Air Base in Southern Taiwan.

Visibility was good at the time of the crash, with visibility up to 7 nautical miles, Taiwanese Maj. Gen. Liu Hui-chien told reporters.

A civilian observer on land reportedly saw the plane plummet into the sea, as did another Taiwanese pilot. The crashing pilot, Captain Chen Yi, was not seen ejecting from his aircraft before impact.

“The pilot was practicing simulated air-to-ground blasting, and visibility at that time was fine,” Liu told reporters, adding, “When he proceeded to the part which required him to fire at a 20-degree angle, his plane rapidly slanted into the sea.”

Lui said that safety checks were being conducted on all of Taiwan’s 140 F-16 fighters and a round-the-clock search for Chen was taking place.

Surface water temperature in the Northernmost parts of the South China Sea where Chen crashed remains fairly uniform year-round at around 28.8 degrees Celsius, meaning if he survived the crash, Chen at least won’t face a danger of hypothermia.

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Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet vanishes

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