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USAF F-16C crashes in South Korea; pilot safe

May 6, 2023 (by Lieven Dewitte) - On Saturday morning May 6, a "Wolf Pack" F-16C crashed in a farming area near Osan Air Base. Fortunately the pilot was able to safely eject and nobody got wounded.

F-16C #88-0549 prepares to taxi out for take-off during Operational Readiness Exercise Beverly Midnight 09-01 at Kunsan AB on February 24th, 2009. [USAF photo by SrA. Dana Hill]

An F-16C block 40 (#88-549) assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, crashed in an agricultural area about 10 nautical miles from Osan Air Base at approximately 09:45h on Saturday during a routine training flight.

The pilot ejected safely and was transported to the Osan Air Base Urgent Care Center for evaluation. The pilot is in stable condition and no other injuries, including civilians, have been reported.

The accident occurred near Pyeongtaek, 35 miles south of Seoul. Following the crash, the fighter jet caught fire and was completely destroyed.

Kunsan Air Base is the home of the 8th Fighter Wing, "The Wolf Pack," assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Seventh Air Force and the 38th Fighter Group of the Republic of Korea Air Force. About 45 F-16 aircraft are stationed at the base. Around 30 F-16s from Kunsan were temporarily relocated to Osan in March due to routine repairs of the base’s runway.

“There were 10 Class A and B mishaps involving U.S. Air Force Fighting Falcons in fiscal 2022, but no deaths, according to data from the Air Force Safety Center. Class A mishaps cause damage totaling at least $2.5 million, the destruction of an aircraft, or the death or permanent total disability of someone involved. Class B mishaps result in between $600,000 and $2.5 million in damage, the permanent partial disability of someone, or the inpatient hospitalization of three or more personnel.

Additional images:

USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0549 from the 524th FS is coming in for landing on runway 21R at Nellis AFB on December 5th, 1997. [Photo by Takeshi Imagome]

USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0549 on September 9th, 2006 with markings for the 524th FS. The F-16s from Cannon AFB are seen here just arrived to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. [USAF photo by A1C Chad M. Kellum]

USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0549 from the 70th FS is spotted on the tarmac at Lexington AP in May of 1993. It seems that the guys at the paintshop weren't realy awake as they painted the tail serial number. [Photo by Gary Chambers]