TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Rescue teams on Tuesday reportedly found the black box of the F-16 jet which crashed in Northern Taiwan Monday, killing the pilot.
The United States-made fighter jet took off from Hualien Air Force Base on a mission part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises, however it is believed it crashed into a mountain in New Taipei City early Monday afternoon. An extensive search led to the military pronouncing pilot Major Wu Yen-ting (吳彥霆), 31, dead during the evening.
On Tuesday afternoon, a search party venturing into a ravine 120 meters below the south side of the suspected crash site found an object which looked it could be the flight data recorder or black box, the Central News Agency reported.
The military later confirmed the reports from New Taipei City that the item was indeed the black box, which could provide useful information about the fatal flight’s final moments.
Initial investigation results announced Monday evening pointed toward a combination of factors, including the weather, the human element and the location.
The crash happened on the first day of the five-day Han Kuang military exercises, a series of nationwide live fire drills often designed to rehearse how to repel a potential Chinese invasion.
The F-16 had been simulating an enemy jet attacking Keelung harbor when it reported disappearing into the fog, CNA reported.
While the Han Kuang drills continued Tuesday with events around the estuary of the Tamsui River in New Taipei City and with missile firings attended by President Tsai Ing-wen in Pingtung County, all F-16 jets were grounded until further notice.