F-16 goes missing in northern Taiwan (update 2)

Taipei, A F-16 fighter jet went missing in northern Taiwan on Monday while participating in an annual military drill, the Air Force has confirmed.

The signal of the F-16, which is based in Hualien in eastern

Taiwan, disappeared from radar screens at 1:43 p.m., nearly half an hour after it took off from Hualien Air Base, the Air Force said in a statement.

The military has launched a search to locate the whereabouts of the missing single-seat jet, series number 6685, which was being flown by Major Wu Yen-ting (???), according to the Air Force.

Wu graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2009 and has 1,039 hours of flying experience, including 736 hours flying the F-16, the Air Force said.

The National Rescue Command Center (NRCC) said in a separate statement that it had received information from the military that the jet went missing in the air above mountainous areas in Nuannuan District in Keelung and is participating in the search mission.

Aside from an S-70C helicopter dispatched by the military, the NRCC has deployed rescue aircraft from the National Airborne Service Corps. to look for the missing fighter jet, the NRCC said.

Firefighters in Keelung, New Taipei and Yilan County have also been asked to dispatch personnel to the area to facilitate the search, according to the NRCC.

Monday was the first day of the five-day, live-fire part of the annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan's biggest annual military drill.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel