Control Yuan to probe disappearance of Mirage fighter jet

Taipei-Three Control Yuan members filed an application Monday to investigate the recent disappearance of a Mirage-2000 fighter jet during a regular training exercise.

The application was filed by Pao Tsung-ho (???), Lee Yueh-der (???) and Fang Wan-fu (???), who said they will try to find out whether the military aircraft's disappearance on Nov. 7 was caused by mechanical failure or human error.

They said they will examine factors such as the age of the jet, the price and supply of patented replacement parts by the French manufacturer, the maintenance history of the aircraft, and the training routine of its pilots.

The probe will extend to the handling of the incident by the relevant government agencies and responsibility for the disappearance of the aircraft and its pilot off northern Taiwan, the three Control Yuan members said.

The Mirage-2000, piloted by Captain Ho Tzu-yu (???), took off at 6:09 p.m. on Nov. 7 from its base in Hsinchu but lost contact with the control tower 34 minutes later, according to the Air Force.

At the time of its disappearance, the aircraft was estimated to be some 60 nautical miles off Pengjia Islet, north of Taiwan, the Air Force said.

The military and the Navy dispatched various types of military aircraft and vessels to search for the pilot and the aircraft, which were from the Hsinchu-based 499th Tactical Fighter Wing, but have been unable to locate them.

The Mirage 2000 is a multirole combat fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France.

Taiwan's Mirage 2000s fleet was acquired over the period May 1997 to November 1998 and is based at Hsinchu Air Base.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel