TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Multiple aircraft spotters on Monday reported detecting an American military aircraft flying over the southern tip of Taiwan.
At 11:45 a.m., the Twitter aircraft spotter "Mr. Find Your Plane" announced that a U.S. Air Force C-37A C/S MANGO03 had taken off from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. One map that was referenced showed the plane flying over Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi.
Meanwhile, the Facebook page of Taiwanese aircraft spotter "Southwest Airspace of TW" (台灣西南空域) announced at 12:45 p.m. on Monday that a U.S. military plane had flown through Taiwan's airspace over the Hengchun Peninsula, an extremely rare occurrence. According to the post, the aircraft was identified as a C-37A Gulfstream V with the registration number 01-0065, and it is suspected to have departed from Kadena Air Base before flying over the Hengchun Peninsula on its way to Thailand.
(Twitter, Southwest Airspace of TW screenshot)
Airplane enthusiast "Oceanner" at 1:22 p.m. announced that a Gulfstream C-37A from Okinawa was "flying over the southern tip of Taiwan." In a map posted in the tweet, the aircraft appears to be flying over Cape Eluanbi, possibly as far inland as Kenting.
At 1:30 p.m., Twitter user "Ketagalan" stated that the aircraft had the Mode-S hex code AE10B3. Ketagalan wrote the plane had taken off from Kadena Air Base and was bound for Southeast Asia on a flight path taking it over Eluanbi.
When contacted by Taiwan News to comment on the incident, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) representative said that an update on the day's foreign military flights in Taiwan's ADIZ would be released at 6 p.m.
Update: 02/01 6 p.m.
The MND at 6 p.m. announced that one Chinese Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane penetrated into Taiwan's southwest ADIZ that day. It added that the presence of two U.S. reconnaissance planes and one U.S. tanker were detected near Taiwan, without revealing their flight paths.