Taiwanese military jet crashes, pilot safely ejects

A military jet owned by Taiwan went missing soon after taking off for a combat training flight on Monday, said the self-ruled island's Defense Ministry.

A statement by the ministry said a Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet of Taiwan's Air Force took flight from the Taitung Air Base for routine training which reported "mechanical failure" and the pilot ejected.

The pilot, Lt. Col. Huang Chung-kai, ejected through a parachute jump, 10 miles south of the air base. He was hospitalized and is "stable," the statement said.

CGTN, the public broadcaster of China, which considers Taiwan its "inalienable part," reported that the jet had "crashed into waters some 10 miles off the eastern coast of the island."

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said a rescue operation is ongoing to locate the missing jet.

It added that a task force would investigate the cause of the incident.

Early in January, Taiwan had grounded its 140 F-16 fighter jets after an upgraded model of the plane crashed into the sea.

The F-16V jet had gone missing after taking a flight for routine training from the Chiayi Air Base in southern Taiwan, the island's National Rescue Command Center had said.

After days of hectic search efforts, authorities found what they suspected were the remains of pilot Capt. Chen Yi, 28, and debris from the missing aircraft.

Source: AA

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