A US General Dynamics F-16 fighter jet crashed in the Yellow Sea near South Korea's southwestern coast on Monday, as reported by officials from the US Air Force. The pilot managed to eject safely and was unharmed. This incident has stoked concerns about the safety of US military aircraft, especially in light of last month's Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey crash that killed eight US airmen.
Kunsan Air Base, located in Gunsan, South Korea, released a statement that said the F-16 pilot is "awake and in stable condition." He was rescued by the Republic of Korea Maritime Forces.
USAF officials said the F-16 experienced "an in-flight emergency over the Yellow Sea" early Monday morning at approximately 8:43 a.m. local time.
A F-16 “Fighting Falcon” with the U.S. Air Force reportedly Crashed earlier tonight in the Yellow Sea off the Coast of South Korea during a Training Exercise following a “Serious Mechanical Fault”, the Pilot was able to Safely Eject and was Rescued by Search Teams. pic.twitter.com/DF1RUbcAkx— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) December 11, 2023
"We are grateful for the safe recovery of our Airman by our ROK Allies and that the pilot is in good condition," said Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, 8th FW commander.
Last month's crash of the Osprey off Yakushima, a southwestern Japanese island, which resulted in the death of eight airmen, remains fresh in everyone's minds.
Following this, the Pentagon issued an order to ground all V-22 tiltrotor aircraft late last week. This decision was made after a preliminary investigation into the crash found a potential mechanical problem.