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Taiwanese netizens pray for missing pilot’s safety

President Tsai says rescue mission national priority

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Search and rescue team beams floodlight into night sky from coast on Jan. 11. 

Search and rescue team beams floodlight into night sky from coast on Jan. 11.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese have expressed concern online for the safety of missing pilot Chen I (陳奕) on the online forum PTT.

The Air Force lost contact with the pilot of an F-16V on Tuesday (Jan. 11) while he was flying off the west coast of Taiwan. A search and rescue mission is ongoing.

Many netizens have shown concern for the pilot considering the cooler weather Taiwan is currently experiencing. Others expressed hope that his parachute worked, according to a China Times report.

Comments included:

“Gosh, to fall into the sea during weather like this..!”

“There is a chance as long as his parachute worked, but it looks bleak with this cold front coming on.”

“A new aircraft was destroyed…”

“The pilot is more important than the plane.”

“I pray for his safety.”

“Let's pray for his wellbeing. Pilots are indispensable assets to Taiwan’s defense.”

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has instructed the military to make the search and rescue mission a number one priority. She said she hopes the nation will rally behind the rescue team and that they can retrieve Chen quickly.