November 21, 2022 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A South Korean KF-16C crashed due to an engine issue during a flight mission on Sunday. The pilot managed to safely eject.
RoKAF F-16C block 32 #86-589 from the 19th FW is raising it's nose to the sky when lifting up in full afterburner. [RoKAF photo]
The pilot of the single-seat jet belonging to the 19th Fighter Wing made an emergency ejection in the mountainous area of Yangdong-myeon about 20 km west of Wonju Airport / Hoengseong Air Base at 20:05h.
The fighter is said to have been equipped with several air-to-air missiles, but no civilian damage has been reported.
The Air Force has grounded all KF-16s — except for reconnaissance flights and QRA
missions — until the cause of the accident is verified. As a direct consequence of that, they also postponed their biannual "Soaring Eagle" air exercise, initially planned for this week.
The Air Force plans to establish the cause of the accident by forming an accident committee chaired by Deputy Chief of Staff Yoon Byeong-ho.
The Soaring Eagle exercise was set to kick off Monday, but the Air Force decided to reschedule it after the KF-16C jet crashed due to an engine issue.
The previous edition of Soaring Eagle was held last June, and mobilized about 70 warplanes, including F-35As, F-15Ks, KF-16s, F-4Es, F-5s, and E-737 early warning and control aircraft.
The first crash of a KF-16 was in August 1997. During a training flight the F-16 crashed into a field in Youju. The pilot safely escaped just before impact. The crash was caused by a failure in the fuel demand/supply system of the aircraft's engine which shut off the engine.
Here's an overview of all ROKAF F-16 accidents and mishaps