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Ill-fated IDF fighter may have stalled before crash: Air Force officer

ROC Central News Agency

08/10/21 23:01:01

By Han Nai-kuo

Kaohsiung, Oct. 21 (CNA) An Air Force official said Tuesday that judging by the debris it left behind, an indigenous defense fighter (IDF) that disappeared Monday near the Penghu Island chain may have stalled before crashing into the sea.

The possible explanation of the crash was given by Shen Yi-feng, chief of staff of the Air Force's 427th Tactical Fighter Wing, who has coordinated the search mission for the jet fighter.

But Shen said Air Force Headquarters has formed an investigation task force to delve more deeply into the cause of the accident.

A search team consisting of Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard Administration (CGA) workers on Tuesday discovered 14 pieces of wreckage from the IDF that crashed in waters southwest of two islets in the Taiwan-held Penghu Island chain, some of them found on the islets themselves.

Earlier in the day, the search team also found three pieces of human flesh while scouring the area. The Armed Forces General Hospital in Penghu was trying to establish whether the fragmented remains belonged to either of the two Air Force pilots.

Two Navy ships and five CGA cutters were continuing to comb the waters where the plane is believed to have gone down.

The plane, operated by pilot Capt. Ku Chih-bin and co-pilot Capt. Chen Jian-ting, disappeared from radar screens Monday morning while on a bombing training mission over Penghu in the Taiwan Strait.

The IDF was developed in the 1980s by Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace Industry Development Corp. in cooperation with General Dynamics Corp. of the United States.

The IDFs, together with U.S.-built F-16s and French-made Mirage 2000-5s, form the backbone of Taiwan's Air Force.

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