An F-5E fighter jet has crashed off Taiwan’s southeast coast, killing its pilot. The crash happened Thursday morning during a mission. The accident happened less than two minutes after the aircraft took off from an air force base in the eastern county of Taitung.
President Tsai Ing-wen has asked the defense ministry to investigate the accident.
On Thursday, one opposition KMT lawmaker asked National Security Bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng whether the accident may have happened because the aircraft involved was obsolete. Chiu said that the military is “facing tremendous difficulties” and that this factor has been taken into consideration when purchasing weapons from the US.
F-5 fighters have been in service for over 40 years. There have been eight accidents involving the model since 2001.