March 14, 2006 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed this morning in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula and the pilot safely ejected, the U.S. military said.
The engine of USAF F-16C block 40 #89-2013 from the 35th FS being salvaged from its crash site by the USS Safeguard on May 10th, 2006. The aircraft was lost in the Yellow Sea on March 14th.
The F-16C (89-2099
) was flying a routine training mission when it crashed around 9:30 a.m., the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base said in a statement. Just within the hour, the pilot was rescued by a South Korean Air Force HH-60 helicopter crew.
Although the water was estimated to be only about 41Â°F / 5Â°C, the pilot was in good condition, the military said.
"Today's rescue shows the great cooperation and support we receive from our RoKAF
partners and reaffirms the benefit of joint training," said Col. Brian Bishop
, wing commander.
A board of qualified officers is investigating the accident.