SKorean fighter jet crashes after midair collision

The pilot of the crashed jet ejected safely; the other jet returned safely to its base.

By
November 4, 2008 08:40
1 minute read.
SKorean fighter jet crashes after midair collision

jet 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Two South Korean fighter jets collided in midair during a training exercise Tuesday, causing one to crash and four missiles to fall to the ground, the air force said. The missiles did not explode. The pilot of the crashed jet ejected safely before it went down in a rice paddy in Pocheon, 29 miles (46 kilometers) north of Seoul, the air force said in a statement. The other jet returned safely to its base, although it was not clear how much damage it sustained in the collision. Four air-to-air missiles that were loaded on the two F-5E jets were dropped on the ground as a result of the collision but did not go off. One of the missiles has been located, and troops are searching the area for the other three, an air force officer said. No civilian damage has been reported, the officer said on condition of anonymity citing office policy. "Air-to-air missiles do not explode unless the pilot turns the fire switch on," he said. The two planes had taken off earlier from an air base in Wonju, about 81 miles (130 kilometers) east of Seoul, he said. An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the collision, and all F-5E jets have been grounded, he said. South Korea's air force has about 100 F-5E jets that it purchased from Northrop Corp. of the United States between 1974-1978.

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