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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Black box of ill-fated IDF fighter recovered

ROC Central News Agency

08/10/23 21:53:42

By Sofia Wu

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) The flight recorder of an Air Force indigenous defense fighter (IDF) that crashed into the sea during a training mission Monday was recovered from waters near an uninhabited islet of the Penghu island chain off southwestern Taiwan Thursday after four days of intensive search.

"The flight recorder, commonly known as the black box, of the ill-fated IDF/1615 fighter was fished out of waters near Nanyen islet at 2 p.m.," said Col. Shen Yi-feng, chief of staff of the Air Force 427 Wing at the Chingchuankang air base in central Taiwan, who has been tasked with overseeing the search mission.

The black box will be sent back to Taiwan for military authorities and the original manufacturer of the plane -- Taiwan's state-run Aerospace Industry Development Corp. (AIDC) -- to conduct an extensive analysis to determine the cause of the crash, Shen said.

Over the past four days, 75 fragments of the crashed aircraft have been recovered, including a three-meter-long fragment of a tail fin of the fighter, he disclosed.

Also recovered were several pieces of human remains which have been sent to the Armed Forces General Hospital in Penghu to establish whether they belonged to either of the two Air Force pilots aboard the jet fighter, Shen added.

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 IDFs, also known as Ching-kuo jet fighters in memory of the late President Chiang Ching-kuo, was developed in the 1980s by the AIDC 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.

Monday's incident was the fifth mishap involving IDF jet fighters since the model was commissioned into service in 1988.

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