Marking to be the third such incident in six months, two Taiwanese fighter jets crashed on Monday.
Taiwan’s air force said two air force F-5E fighters, each with one pilot aboard, crashed into the sea off the island’s southeastern coast after they apparently collided in mid-air during a training mission. One pilot was found and immediately air-lifted to hospital by helicopter but later succumbed to his injuries, while the other is missing, air force chief of Staff Huang Chih-Wei told reporters.
The US-made F-5 fighters were introduced in Taiwan in the 1970s and have been mostly retired from front-line activities, though some are still used for training and as a back-up for the main fleet.
Another F-5 was crashed in October last year, killing the pilot and in November an F-16 crashed off Taiwan’s east coast, and the pilot of that aircraft also died. Such incidents have raised concern about both training and maintenance, and also the pressure the air force is under to repeated Chinese flights near the island.