US F-16 crashes in South Korea, pilot safely ejects

A US F-16 fighter jet crashed into the sea off South Korea’s west coast on Wednesday and the pilot was rescued safely, a US Air Force unit stationed in the country said, the second crash of an F-16 in just over a month in the country.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing experienced “an in-flight emergency” over the sea and crashed, the unit said in a statement.

The pilot, who ejected safely and was rescued about an hour later, is conscious and was transported to a medical facility for assessment.

The commander of the 8th Fighter Wing, Colonel Matthew Gaetke, thanked the South Korean rescuers who worked with the US military on the recovery of the pilot and said the focus was now to find and recover the aircraft, it said.

An F-16 fighter jet belonging to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) performs to commemorate Pakistan Air Force’s ‘Operation Swift Retort’, following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, Pakistan February 27, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/AKHTAR SOOMRO)

The west coast city of Gunsan is home to one of the two main air bases used by the US military in South Korea.

In December, another F-16 jet crashed while on a routine training flight and the pilot was rescued.

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