A ROCAF F-16V crashed in the sea near Aogu Wetland, Dongshi Township, Chiayi. The pilot is missing. The wreckage of the airplane was located on Wednesday 12 January 2022 by a fisherman
Piloted by Air Force Captain Chen Yi (陳奕), the jet took off from Chiayi Air Base at around 2:55 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 11), and it disappeared from radar screens near a coastal firing range in Dongshi Township, Chiayi County at 3:23 p.m., per CNA.
The warplane plunged into the water at a high speed while conducting a routine air-to-ground bombing training session, Air Force Inspector General Major General Liu Hui-chien (柳惠千) said Tuesday night (Jan. 11).
Military units have been searching for the missing aircraft and pilot since that night, with Air Force planes firing flares near where the fighter is believed to have gone down to help helicopters conduct their search, reports said. On Wednesday morning, troops and the Coast Guard joined search efforts.
A civilian volunteer surnamed Tsai (蔡) discovered wreckage from a military aircraft at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday near the suspected site of the accident.
Troops began to focus on that area soon after and found backpacks and several more pieces of wreckage, per CNA.
Taiwan has grounded F-16 jets fleet. Safety checks will be conducted on all of Taiwan’s 140 F-16 jets. The jets are currently being upgraded into F-16Vs.
Taiwan’s Air Force has set aside a budget of NT$110 billion (nearly US$4 billion) to upgrade 141 F-16 A/Bs to F-16Vs (Block2). There have been eight major accidents involving F-16s in Taiwan since 1998.