January 11, 2022 (by Asif Shamim) - A Taiwanese F-16 jet (#6650) crashed on Tuesday afternoon while on a training mission over the sea. Efforts are underway to find the pilot, government sources said.
RoCAF F-16A block 20 #6650 is on final approach to Taoyuan AFB in January of 2006 armed with a pair of AIM-9 & AIM-120 missiles. [A.S.I.A. Archives Images
photo by Rossi T]
The defense ministry said the F-16V, the most advanced type in Taiwan
's fleet, went missing from radar screens after taking off from the Chiayi air base in southern Taiwan. The jet flown by Captain Chen Yi disappeared from radar screens at 15:23h local time, about 30 minutes after it departed the base in Southern Taiwan for routine training.
Air force officials said the pilot was taking part in firing training at the target zone before losing contact.
"The pilot was practicing simulated air-to-ground bombing, and visibility at that time was fine," Inspector General Liu Hui-chien told a press conference at which he gave the air force’s initial assessment.
“When he proceeded to the part which required him to fire at a 20-degree angle, his plane rapidly dived into the sea.”
Liu said the pilot of the companion aircraft reported no sign of Capt Yi ejecting from his aircraft before it crashed, and it was not yet known what had caused it.
President Tsai Ing-wen issued instructions to spare no efforts in the search and rescue mission and "to further clarify the cause of the accident", her spokesman said.
The government's Rescue Command Center said witnesses had seen the aircraft crash into the sea and helicopters and ships were searching for the pilot.
The jet was one of 64 newly upgraded F-16Vs the Taiwan air force brought into service in November as part of a $3.9 billion U.S.-backed program to upgrade its fleet of 141 aging F-16s fleet. Lockheed Martin Corp. is scheduled to deliver an additional 66 all-new F-16Vs to Taiwan by 2026.
Info: F-16 Accidents & Mishaps for the Republic of China Air Force