A Chinese fighter jet suffered a bird strike in-flight during combat training. The bird strike caused a sudden engine shut down, causing the jet to crash, Chinese local media reported. The pilot ejected himself safely.

The incident allegedly occurred on October 5, 2020. However, neither the exact type of fighter jet involved in the incident, nor an exact location were made public.

According to local Chinese media, the fighter jet was supposedly carrying out combat training when shortly after take-off the jet ingested a bird. The strike led to a sudden engine in-flight shutdown and the jet started to lose thrust.

Despite multiple attempts to retrieve the lost thrust, the fighter jet systems remained unresponsive, the pilot allegedly told the Guancha. The pilot successfully ejected himself before the crash.

The cause of the crash was determined following an investigation by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLA), the Chinese Air Force. 

The pilot of the fighter jet is a member of the PLA’s Southern Theater Command.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense repeatedly accused Chinese fighter jets of the Southern Theater Command of violating the country’s air defense identification zone.

On September 4, 2020, an alarming report emerged on Chinese social media, claiming that Taiwan had shot down a fighter jet of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), believed to be either a Sukhoi Su-35 or a Chengdu J-10, while infringing on Taiwan airspace. The information was denied by the Taiwanese Air Force Command, and the alleged crash site was located about 900 kilometers (550 miles) away from the island.

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Footage of a Chinese fighter jet crash emerged on social media, accompanied by claims that it was shot down after entering Taiwan airspace. Taiwan Air Force Command denied the allegations.