Third USAF F-16 crash in less than two months

U.S. Air Force photo

An F-16 Fighting Falcon of the United States Air Force crashed as it was about to land on Kunsan Air Base, near Gunsan, South Korea. The pilot managed to eject from his aircraft. The crash is the latest in a series of incidents involving an F-16 in the last few months.

After a routine sortie, the F-16 was approaching the runway to land when the pilot, alone onboard, ejected. He sustained minor injuries and was released after a short stay in a medical facility. Except for the fighter jet, no damage to other base assets or property was reported. A safety board is investigating the incident.

The aircraft involved in the incident that took place on December 2, 2019, was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing. It operates from Kunsan Air Base, located at Gunsan Airport (KUV), on South Korea’s western coast. 

Flying operations were suspended for 24 hours while the 8th Fighter Wing commander assessed if the runway “was safe for the use of all personnel and assets,” it said in a statement. They resumed on December 4, 2019. “I want to thank everyone who worked hard and expediently to make sure we were able to resume operations with safety as our top priority,” said the commander Tad Clark.

This crash is the latest in a series of incidents involving an F-16 Fighting Falcon in the last few months.

On September 19, 2019, a Belgian F-16 fighter jet crashed near ​​Pluvigner, western France. The two pilots managed to eject. However, one of them had to be recovered from a high-voltage line after his parachute got caught in the cables.

On October 8, 2019, a USAF F-16C fighter jet of the 52nd Fighter Wing based in Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, crashed during training near Zemmer. The pilot managed to eject successfully. On October 29, 2019, another USAF F-16 fighter jet, this time belonging to the 49th Fighter Wing, crashed while training near Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The pilot safely ejected.

On November 8, 2019, a USAF F-16 of the 35th Fighter Wing, stationed at the US Misawa Air Base, accidentally dropped an inert bomb on private land outside training grounds in Aomori Prefecture, north of Japan’s main island of Honshu.


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