TAIWAN - Minor F-16 Flight Mishap Reported at Chiayi Air Base

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2000.11.08B!@2:31am Taiwan time updated Minor F-16 Flight Mishap Reported at Chiayi Air Base Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) A Republic of China Air Force F-16 jetfighter made an emergency landing at Chiayi air base in southern Taiwan after a training flight Tuesday, military authorities said. The pilot was able to land the single-seater warplane safely, the Air Force General Headquarters said.

According to an AFGH press statement, the pilot noticed problems with the fighter's brake system when he was preparing to land after a training mission at 11:58 a.m.

The pilot immediately informed ground controllers who quickly laid out arresting gear on the runway to intercept the jetfighter, AFGH officials said, adding that such a move is standard procedure when dealing with aircraft brake failures.

Noting that emergency treatment of a brake failure is an integral part of the ROC Air Force pilot training program, the officials said Tuesday's "smooth handling of the emergency landing indicates that our training efforts have paid off." Nevertheless, the emergency landing caused a 30-minute closure of the Chiayi air base, which doubles as a military-cum-commercial airport. Chiayi air base officials said they were sorry for any commercial airliner takeoff or landing delays caused by the episode.

The ROC struck a deal with the United States to purchase 150 F-16 jetfighters in 1992 as part of its military arsenal modernization plan. More than 100 of the advanced warplanes have so far been delivered to Taiwan.

In March 1999, a two-seater F-16 lost contact with the Air Force Warfare Control Center during a routine training drill. The plane and its two pilots have never been found. Three other F-16s also crashed in the past past few years.


-- Doris (reaper@pacifier.com), November 08, 2000

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