F-16s in service after being grounded following crash

22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | TaipeiTimes | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The nation’s F-16 jets were yesterday morning back in action, more than a week after the entire fleet was grounded for safety checks following the crash of an F-16V in waters off the west coast on Tuesday last week, killing the pilot.

The first mission following the lifting of the grounding order was conducted by four F-16Vs, including one piloted by Major general Wei Chao-lin, based at Chiayi Air Base, home to Captain Chen Yi, the pilot killed last week.

After passing safety inspections, the four jets took to the skies to intercept Chinese warplanes entering Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone.

Chen’s jet (serial number 6650) disappeared from radar screens at 3:23pm on Tuesday last week, about 30 minutes after it took off from the southern air base on a routine training mission with another aircraft.

The weather conditions and visibility were good, the military said.

Another fighter jet pilot, a ground controller and other eyewitnesses in Chiayi said that the aircraft had just completed a series of simulated missile launches when it abruptly nose-dived into the sea.

A team is investigating the cause of the crash and Taiwan’s F-16 fleet was grounded for safety checks until yesterday.

Chen was pronounced dead after parts of his body were found by searchers last week.

The crashed jet’s flight recorder was found on Monday and has been sent to aviation experts.

The discovery has sparked hopes that the experts will find the cause of the accident, which has so far confounded the air force.



Category: Taiwan

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