Air Force pilot safe after F-16 crashes offshore (update)

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) An Air Force single-seater F-16 jet fighter crashed into waters southwest of Chiayi in southern Taiwan on Wednesday, but its pilot ejected to safety, according to Air Force Command Headquarters. The plane crashed soon after taking off from the Air Force's base in Chiayi at 2 p.m. on a training mission, the headquarters said. The pilot, Lieutenant Wu Yen-ting, found there was something wrong with the plane and ejected after reporting the problem to the control tower, according to the Air Force. An S-70C helicopter was then sent to rescue the 26-year-old pilot, who suffered only minor injuries. Wu is now being treated at a veterans hospital in Chiayi, the headquarters said. The Air Force suspected mechanical failure was behind the crash but said it has set up a special task force to further investigate the cause of the mishap. (By Chiang Chun-liang and Sofia Wu)