President Tsai Ing-wen has met with the family of an air force pilot who went missing on Tuesday during a training flight. Tsai expressed her sympathy for the family on Thursday, and called for the search and rescue operation to be swift and thorough.
On Tuesday, the F-16V fighter plane piloted by Captain Chen Yi crashed into the ocean off Taiwan’s western coast during a training mission. Search and rescue personnel have found debris from the missing plane, but no sign of the pilot.
On Wednesday afternoon, a local fisherman reported finding suspected human remains. Military personnel are investigating.
Taiwan has seen eight major accidents involving F-16 fighters since 1997, when the first deliveries of the aircraft arrived from the United States.
The latest accident comes as US aerospace company Lockheed Martin carries out upgrades on Taiwan’s F-16 fleet.
Taiwan has grounded all its F-16 fighters while the search for Captain Chen Yi continues.