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1 pilot killed after 2 Taiwan F-5E fighter jets collide in the air | Taiwan News




TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – One pilot has died while the rescue mission is currently underway for the other pilot after their two Taiwan F-5E fighter jets collided and crashed into the ocean.

On Monday afternoon (March 22), two F-5E fighter jets believed to have crashed and crashed into the ocean off the coast of Pingtung County (37.5 nautical miles southeast of their base), according to the National Rescue Command Center (NRCC) . The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has deployed Black Hawk search and rescue helicopters and naval patrol boats at the scene, while firefighters from Taitung and Pingtung have also been sent to conduct a shore search.

At 2:30 p.m., four F-5E fighter jets took off from Taitung Zhi-Hang Air Base on a training mission, according to MND. However, at 3:06 p.m., two of the planes collided, but the two pilots, surnamed Pan () and Lo (), were reportedly able to evacuate before their plane crashed into the sea.

1 pilot killed after 2 Taiwan F-5E fighter jets collide in the air
The location where both planes disappeared from radar screens. (Image of NRCC)

The NRCC at 3:22 then sent rescue aircraft and ships to the scene. The search area is 1.4 miles offshore from Xuhai Fishing Port in Mudan Township of Pingtung County.

At 4:14 a.m., police found an evacuation site and parachute at the 73-mile mark of Provincial Highway 26, but no pilots were found nearby. At 16:22, Lo was found at sea with vital signs, but without consciousness. He was taken to Taitung Mackay Memorial Hospital for urgent treatment, although doctors were unable to resuscitate him and was pronounced dead.

Pan is still missing, and the search for him is still ongoing.

1 pilot killed after 2 Taiwan F-5E fighter jets collide in the air
Pan headquarters, with a part of the parachute still attached. (Photo by NRCC)

The apparent air-to-air collision between the two planes marks the eighth major accident involving F-5E fighter jets over the past 20 years, most recently the downing of an F-5E during a training mission off the coast of Taitung, i who killed its pilot, Captain Chu Kuan-meng (), in October last year.

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