NewsAmerican F-16 fighter jet crashes into South Korean Sea: Pilot rescued in swift operation

American F‑16 fighter jet crashes into South Korean Sea: Pilot rescued in swift operation

An American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet during bilateral exercises between the South Korean and U.S. Air Forces. Illustrative photo.
An American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet during bilateral exercises between the South Korean and U.S. Air Forces. Illustrative photo.
Images source: © Getty Images | SeongJoon Cho
5:13 AM EST, January 31, 2024

The incident occurred on Wednesday off the southwestern coast of South Korea, as reported by the Associated Press. Reports suggest that the fighter jet crashed into the waters near the port city of Seosan. The US Air Force unit in South Korea confirmed that the pilot was rescued.

According to an official statement, the F-16 Fighting Falcon that was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing encountered an "emergency situation in flight". The pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft and was found by the rescue team about an hour later. The pilot, who was conscious at the time of the rescue, was then taken to a medical facility.

Colonel Matthew Gaetke, the commander of the 8th Fighter Wing, extended his gratitude towards the South Korean rescue team for their contribution to the rescue operation. "We are enormously grateful to the rescue forces of the Republic of Korea and to all our colleagues who enabled the rapid recovery of our pilot", he stated. "We will now concentrate on locating and recovering the aircraft", Gaetke added.

The underlying reasons behind this crash are still being determined. This isn't the first instance of such an event involving an American aircraft. In December, another F-16 from the 8th Fighter Wing of the USA also crashed, as per the Associated Press. At that time, the pilot encountered difficulties during a standard training flight. Fortunately, he was able to eject from the aircraft before it crashed into the sea near the city of Gunsan.

Source: AP

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