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US F-16 fighter jet crashes into Yellow Sea; pilot recovered after ejecting safely

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A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing crashed into the Yellow Sea on Wednesday morning after experiencing an in-flight emergency.

According to the 8th Fighter Wing’s public affairs office, the plane crashed at about 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

The 8th Fighter Wing is based out of Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea.

The pilot of the jet was able to eject safely and was recovered at about 9:30 a.m.


Officials said the pilot is conscious and was taken to a medical facility to be assessed.

Both the U.S. and Republic of Korea mission partners worked together to locate and recover the pilot.

“We are very thankful to the Republic of Korea rescue forces and all of our teammates who made the swift recovery of our pilot possible,” Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, 8th FW commander said. “Now we will shift our focus to search and recovery of the aircraft.”

Further information about the cause of the crash will not become available until the conclusion of safety and accident investigations, officials said.

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