U.S. F-16 Crashes Into The Yellow Sea Off South Korea. Pilot Ejected Safely.

F-16 crashes Yellow Sea
File photo of a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon taking off for routine operations at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Oct. 16, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Karla Parra)

The F-16, belonging to the 8th Fighter Wing, crashed into the Yellow Sea off South Korea, during a routine training mission.

On Dec. 11, 2023, at around 08.43AM LT, an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet, assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, based at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, crashed into the Yellow Sea, after an in-flight emergency forced the pilot to eject.

According to a statement released by Kunsan AB on social media, the pilot was recovered by Republic of Korea Maritime Forces, and reported as “awake and in stable conditions” and being returned to his homebase to be evaluated further. As per standard operating procedure, the Air Force will not release his name nor additional details: “the cause of the in-flight emergency is unknown and the incident will be thoroughly investigated. Further details regarding the incident will not be available until the conclusion of the investigation” is the “reminder” included in official statement in order to prevent any speculation to spread.

“We are grateful for the safe recovery of our airman by our  Republic of Korea Maritime Forces Allies and that the pilot is in good condition,” Colonel Matthew Gaetke, the 8th Fight Wing commander, said.

Another F-16 assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing had crashed into a farmland in Pyeongtaek, about 70 km south of the capital Seoul, near Osan Air Base, at about 9:45 a.m. May 6, 2023. The pilot safely ejected and was transported to the nearest medical facility.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.