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US F-16 fighter crashes near base in South Korea

Last crash of US Forces Korea aircraft was Dec. 11

Jan. 31, 2024 - 16:55 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)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon belonging to the 8th Fighter Wing at the US air base in Gunsan, a port city in western South Korea, crashed at around 8:41 a.m. Wednesday.

The crash happened during a routine training and the pilot was recovered after ejecting safely, according to Kunsan Air Base.

“We are very thankful to the Republic of Korea rescue forces and all of our teammates who made the swift recovery of our pilot possible,” Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, 8th FW commander, said in a release. “Now we will shift our focus to search and recovery of the aircraft.”

The air base said the cause of the in-flight emergency will be revealed after investigations have been concluded.

In December last year, one of the wing's F-16 fighters fell into the sea near its base in Gunsan. The pilot was recovered after evacuating the aircraft safely.