Kunsan F-16 Pilot Forced to Eject, 8th Fighter Wing Suspends Flying Ops

An F-16 pilot assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea, sustained “minor injuries” after ejecting from his aircraft during a routine landing “near the Kunsan Air Base runway” around 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, according to an Air Force release.

The pilot was transported to a medical facility, and no other information was immediately available. The wing has suspended “all military and civilian flying operations to ensure the safety and security of people and assets,” states the release.

This is the third F-16 to crash in the last two months. An F-16 assigned to the 49th Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M., crashed on Oct. 29. On Oct. 8, another F-16 assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing crashed near Spangdahlem AB, Germany. Both pilots safely ejected and were taken to nearby medical facilities.

Air Force officials overseeing the F-16 Fighting Falcon program told Air Force Magazine recently that despite the recent mishaps, there are no emerging safety issues with the fleet.

“The F-16 System Program Office maintains a robust and proactive system safety program, executed in accordance with United States Air Force guidance and in conjunction with the Air Force Safety Center,” the program office told Air Force Magazine. “Mishap findings and recommendations are constantly reviewed and analyzed by the F-16 SPO, as well as the aeronautics division of the original equipment manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.”

The most recent incident is under investigation.