TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Air Force Mirage fighter jet crashed off the east coast on Monday (March 14), but the pilot safely ejected and has already been rescued.
The Air Force Command Headquarters announced that a Mirage 2000-5 belonging to Hsinchu Air Base had taken off from Chihhang Air Base at 10:08 a.m. that morning for a routine combat training mission. However, at 11:26 a.m., the Air Force received an alert that the pilot had ejected from the aircraft about 10 nautical miles south of the base.
The Army immediately dispatched UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the scene and at 12:06 p.m. successfully rescued the pilot. He is said to be in "good condition" and has been sent to a hospital for observation.
The Air Force said a task force is being dispatched to Chihhang Air Base to investigate the cause of the accident. Crews are still searching for the wreckage of the aircraft.
Since 1999, eight Mirage 2000 fighter jets have reportedly crashed in Taiwan, including Monday's incident. Of these crashes, seven pilots have been rescued, while five have died in the line of duty. Six Mirage 2000s have been damaged beyond repair, while 54 remain intact.