Two Taiwanese Fighter Jets Collide, 1 Dead

Taiwanese authorities have conducted a search and rescue operation after two F-5E fighter jets collided and crashed into the ocean off the coast of Pingtung County leaving one pilot dead.

The pilots of both planes were able to eject but only one has been found so far.

Lo, the pilot which was found was unconscious when he was retrieved and could not be resuscitated before he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The two planes were part of a four-plane squadron that took off from Taitung’s Zhi-Hang Air Base on a training mission.

The two planes disappeared from radar at about 3 pm (07:00 GMT) some 2.6km (1.6 miles) off the coast and have not made further contact.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has already deployed search and rescue Black Hawk helicopters and maritime patrol boats to the crash site while firefighters from Taitung and Pingtung are waiting onshore if the remaining pilot identified as Fang, manages to swim back.

An F-5E also crashed during a training mission off the coast of Taitung, which killed its pilot, Captain Chu Kuan-meng last October.

As a safety precaution, the Taiwanese air force had grounded the F-5 fleet that operates from the Zhi-Hang airbase until the cause of the accident is identified.

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