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US F-16 fighter crashes into sea off South Korea during training

Dec. 11, 2023 - 16:03 By Kim Arin
A US F-16 fighter jet takes off from Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul, on Oct. 30, 2023. (Yonhap)

A United States Forces Korea F-16 Fighting Falcon on Monday morning crashed near Gunsan, a North Jeolla Province city 178 kilometers south of Seoul, during routine training, according to the air base there.

Kunsan Air Base, home to the 8th Fighter Wing, said in a release that the fighter jet crashed into the sea off the west coast of South Korea at around 8:43 a.m.

The pilot was rescued by the Republic of Korea Maritime Forces after evacuating the aircraft, the release said. He is in a stable condition and being returned to the air base in Gunsan.

“We are grateful for the safe recovery of our Airman by our ROK Allies and that the pilot is in good condition,” Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, 8th Fighter Wing commander was quoted as saying in the release.

Describing the crash as an in-flight emergency, the air base said its cause was to be “thoroughly investigated” and refrained from giving further details until the investigation is completed.