February 13, 2007 (by Asif Shamim) - A KF-16 from the 19th FW crashed during an air-to-ground firing exercise over the West Sea near Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province at around 11.00h on Tuesday morning.
RoKAF F-16C block 52 #93-4053 from the 155th FS
The pilot, only identified as Air Force captain Wu, took off at around 10.40h from Chungju AFB
, apparently ejected just before the crash, but it was not immediately confirmed whether he had survived.
The defence ministry later said the pilot had been rescued. "It is believed that the jet went down into the West Sea," a ministry official was quoted to have said. "We are searching for the wreckage of the plane." The official went on to say that the ministry will conduct a thorough investigation on the cause of the crash.
Rescue helicopters and naval speedboats were dispatched to the crash site. However Captain Wu was rescued by a local fishing boat.
This latest crash brings the total number of written-off KF-16s to four. 2 crashed in 1997 with another in February 2002.
Corroded engine ducts were blamed for the losses of the F-16s in 1997 which was within 2 months of delivery. In both cases a failure in the terminal fuel pipe (PF4) caused the engines to shut off. Both pilots safely ejected.
completed production of the 140th KF-16 in 2004 as part of $5.5 billion contract run as a joint venture by state-run Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin. Each fighter plane costs approximately $43 million to produce and more than $720,000 to maintain.
- 15/02/2007 The KF-16 which was lost is believed to be (#93-4053).
For more information on the crashed RoKAF
F-16s, see the F-16.net aircraft database