TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter jet plowed nose-first into a ditch next to a runway at Pingtung Air Base while rehearsing an emergency landing.
With the 37th annual Han Kuang military exercises set to start on Sept. 13, Air Force fighter jets have been practicing emergency landings on shortened stretches of the runway in preparation for drills on nearby highways. During one of these practice landings on a rain-soaked runway on Tuesday morning (Aug. 31), an F-16 suddenly lost control.
The F-16 (no. 6829) touched down at 6:32 a.m. on a noticeably wet runway, according to the Ministry of National Defense. The plane maintained a straight course until it deployed its parachute, when it suddenly veered to the left and rolled off the runway.
The plane then tipped nose-down into a grassy ditch. Several emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, but the pilot was found to be uninjured.
After the pilot was extracted, a crane was used to lift the plane out of the ditch. The aircraft appears to have suffered only minor damage, and the cause of the incident is currently under investigation.