U.S. F-16 fighter crashes into sea off South Korea, pilot rescued

A U.S. F-16 fighter jet crashed into the Yellow Sea off South Korea on Monday during a routine training flight, and the pilot rescued by South Korean maritime authorities after ejecting from the plane, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The jet, assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, left Kunsan Air Base located in Gunsan, a city south of Seoul, and experienced “an in-flight emergency” at approximately 8:43 a.m. before crashing into the sea, the U.S. Air Force said in a press release.

It said the pilot is “awake and in stable condition,” and is “being returned” to the base, and added that neither the name of the pilot nor additional details regarding his condition will be provided.

Col. Matthew C. Gaetke, commander of the 8th Fighter Wing, was quoted as saying that they are “grateful for the safe recovery of our airman by our ROK allies and that the pilot is in good condition.”

ROK is the acronym of South Korea’s formal name, the Republic of Korea.

A U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft crashed off southwestern Japan during a routine exercise on Nov. 29, killing all eight on board.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga