March 21, 2012 (by Asif Shamim) - Airforce officials report that an F-16C block 40 from 36 FS based at Osan has crashed today near Kunsan Air Base, during a routine training mission. The pilot safely ejected.
The 51st Fighter Wing said the incident took place around noon Wednesday. The plane crashed into a rice paddy field near the US air base in the western port city of Gunsan, the US military said in a brief statement.
The U.S. military is in the midst of Foal Eagle, its largest annual joint exercise with the South Korean military. It was confirmed that the F-16 was participating in an exercise at the time of the crash.
"We are grateful the pilot is safe and that no one was injured," said Col. Patrick McKenzie, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "Our main priority now is conducting an investigation to determine what happened."
A board of inquiry will investigate the accident. More details as reported to follow.