Memory unit of crashed F-16 still missing

2018/06/06 22:16:21 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Memory unit of crashed F-16 still missing

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) New Taipei firefighters on Wednesday failed to find the crash survivable memory unit (CSMU) in the flight data recorder of an F-16 jet fighter that crashed Monday, although they had retrieved the device's locator beacon the previous day.

The city's fire department dispatched 60 firefighters to search for the memory unit at the crash site on Wufen Mountain (五分山) in New Taipei's Rueifang District but they were unable to find the CSMU.

However, before the mission was called off at 3:00 p.m., the search teams recovered more wreckage of the plane and body parts that were confirmed by DNA testing to be those of the pilot Major Wu Yen-ting (吳彥霆), according to the fire department and prosecutors.

The Air Force said it has formed a task force to investigate the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, special checks of the nation's F-16 jet fighters, which had been grounded since Monday, have been completed and the aircraft will resume participation Thursday in the anti-airborne operations of the annual Han Kuang military exercises in central Taiwan, the Air Force Command said.

Only F-16s based in Chiayi will join the drill, however, not those in Hualien where the ill-fated jet was based, the Air Force Command said.

Wu's single-seater F-16 fighter plane disappeared from radar screens at 1:43 p.m. Monday, nearly half an hour after it took off from Hualien Air Base to participate in the Han Kuang military drill.

It was not the ill-fated pilot's first F-16 crash. He was also involved in an F-16 incident in 2013, when he parachuted to safety following a mechanical failure, an Air Force official told CNA on Monday.

Wu, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2009, had 1,039 hours of flying experience, including 736 hours flying the F-16, according to the Air Force.

The 31-year-old pilot is survived by his wife, who is also a servicewoman in the Air Force, and a three-year-old son.

A funeral is being arranged for Wu in Keelung.

(By Wang Chao-yu, Joseph Yeh and S.C. Chang)
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