Air Force F-16 Pilot Rescued After Crash in South Korea

The Fighting Falcon pilot ejected during an in-flight emergency over the Yellow Sea while on a routine training flight.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, prepares to land on the runway at Gwangju Air Base, South Korea. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

An investigation is underway after an F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed into the Yellow Sea during an "in-flight emergency" in South Korea on Monday, according to the U.S. Air Force.

The pilot, who was on a routine training flight at the time of the incident, ejected from the aircraft and was rescued. The aircraft was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing based at Kunsan Air Base. 

"The cause of the in-flight emergency is unknown and the incident will be thoroughly investigated," the Air Force said.

According to Air Force officials, the pilot ejected during the mishap shortly before 9 a.m. local time. He was then rescued by Republic of Korea (ROK) Maritime Forces, at which time he was described as "awake and in stable condition."

“We are grateful for the safe recovery of our airman by our ROK allies and that the pilot is in good condition,” said Colonel Matthew Gaetke, 8th Fighter Wing commander. 

The pilot, who has not been identified, was transported to Kunsan Air Base for further evaluation, the Air Force said.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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