The pilot of an F-5E fighter jet died after ejecting from the plane off the coast of Taitung County this morning, October 29.
The F-5E single-seat fighter of the Air Force Seventh Wing crashed into the sea shortly after taking off from the Taitung Chihhang Air Force Base at 7:30 am on a regular training mission.
The pilot, Captain Chu Kuan-meng (朱冠甍) reported engine failure two minutes after take off, and ejected from the aircraft over the ocean.
An Air Force rescue team in a Black Hawk helicopter located Chu at 8:17 am and airlifted him to Taitung Mackay Hospital. Chu had lost vital signs at the time of rescue and he was declared dead at the hospital at 9:27 am.
Captain Chu was in instructor at the Chihhang Air Base with more than 700 hours flight time experience.
President Tsai Ing-wen, speaking at a Veteran’s Day ceremony, mentioned the incident at the end of her speech, expressing condolences to Chu’s family, and urging the Ministry of National Defense to investigate the cause of the crash.
The F-5E was manufactured by Northrop and was delivered to Taiwan’s ROCAF November 1980 [Correction: previously reported 1969 due to translation error]. The remaining F-5E and F-5F planes have been grounded for inspection.
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