F-16 training on hold after Tengah Air Base crash; pilot had flight control issues

Mindef said that the pilot responded in accordance with emergency procedures and successfully ejected from the F-16 fighter jet. - ST FILE

SINGAPORE: A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 fighter jet crashed within Tengah Air Base at 12.35pm on Wedneday (May 8) after the pilot experienced issues during take-off.

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said that the pilot responded in accordance with emergency procedures and successfully ejected from the aircraft.

The pilot was conscious and able to walk, and is receiving medical attention, it added. No other personnel were hurt.

It is understood that the crashed jet was an F-16C single-seat aircraft.

The RSAF has temporarily suspended training for the F-16 fleet until investigations show that it is safe to resume.

Upon lifting off the runway at Tengah during a routine training flight, the pilot experienced flight control issues with the aircraft and decided to eject, said Mindef in a late night statement. It added that the airman had accumulated more than 2,000 hours flying the F-16.

Detailed investigations are ongoing, and Mindef and the RSAF said they will provide updates on the incident as soon as they become available.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post that the pilot has undergone a full medical exam in hospital, and a CT scan showed he had no major injuries.

“His alertness and compliance with safety procedures to eject saved his life,” wrote Dr Ng. “No serious injuries were detected – he is ambulant, conscious, and talking. But as a precaution, (he) will stay in hospital for observation.”

This is the fourth loss of an RSAF F-16 since the type entered service in the late 1980s.

The last crash happened on May 19, 2004, when an RSAF F-16C crashed in Arizona in the US. The pilot, 25-year-old Lieutenant Brandon Loo Kwang Han, was killed in the crash.

Dr Ng said this was a credible record for the RSAF, even though Mindef is obviously disappointed over the latest incident.

“The goal for the RSAF must still be zero crashes. Full investigations are under way to make sure all factors are identified and rectified decisively,” he said. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Air Force , crash , F-16 fighter jet


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