(3rd LD) Air Force pilot dies after F-5E fighter crashes in central S. Korea

강윤승 / 2022-01-11 18:39:42
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(3rd LD) fighter jet-crash
▲ Military officials check the wreckage of an F-5E fighter on a hill in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, where the plane belonging to the Air Force's 10th Combat Squadron crashed right after takeoff at 1:44 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2022. (Yonhap)

▲ Military officials check the wreckage of an F-5E fighter on a hill in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, where the plane belonging to the Air Force's 10th Combat Squadron crashed right after takeoff at 1:44 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2022. (Yonhap)

(3rd LD) fighter jet-crash

(3rd LD) Air Force pilot dies after F-5E fighter crashes in central S. Korea

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 6-7, 9-10, photo)

By Choi Soo-hyang and Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- An Air Force pilot died after an F-5E fighter jet crashed in central South Korea on Tuesday, the military said.

The aircraft crashed into a mountain in Hwaseong, some 40 kilometers south of Seoul, at 1:46 p.m. minutes after taking off from an Air Force base in the nearby city of Suwon, they said.

"An engine fire warning light turned on for the plane's left and right sides after the takeoff at a Suwon base at 1:44 p.m., and the plane shortly nosedived," the Air Force said in a statement.

The pilot with the rank of captain tried to eject but failed, it added.

The Air Force said it will form a task force to investigate the exact cause of the incident.

The fighter crashed around 100 meters away from a nearby village.

No civilian casualties were reported. Officials said the fighter did not carry explosives.

South Korea has operated around 200 F-5s since the 1970s, most of which are out of service or soon to be so after reaching a full life cycle.

A total of 12 units of F-5s operated by the Air Force have crashed since 2000, including the latest incident.

The military currently owns around 80 units of F-5s, and plans to gradually retire them by 2030.

The same type of the jet crashed into a mountain in central South Korea in 2013 during a flight training due to poor maintenance.

Tuesday's plane crash is the latest incident involving the Air Force's jets. Last week, an F-35A fighter made an emergency landing in Seosan, 150 kilometers south of Seoul, during a training session.

(END)

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