Kunsan safely resumes operations after F-16 aircraft crash

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing taxi down the flightline at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 19, 2019. The 8th FW is home to two fighter squadrons, the 35th Fight Squadron “Pantons” and 80th FS “Juvats.” They perform air and space control roles including counter air, strategic attack, interdiction and close-air support missions. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Mackenzie Mendez)

The 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, resumed flying operations on Dec. 4, after conducting a 24-hour runway closure to verify it was safe for the use of all personnel and assets.

Ahead of resuming flying operations, the 8th Wing commander reopened the runway at approximately 3 p.m., local time, Dec. 3 for all military and civilian flying operations.

During a landing after a routine sortie on Dec. 2, a U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot from the 8th Fighter Wing safely ejected from his aircraft and was transported to a medical facility with minor injuries. The pilot was released in good condition.

“We are flying today because we have confidence in our maintainers and our pilots to execute the mission,” said Col. Tad Clark, 8th Fighter Wing commander. “I want to thank everyone who worked hard and expediently to make sure we were able to resume operations with safety as our top priority.”

While the F-16 sustained damage after the ejection, there was no damage to other base assets or property.

A safety board is continuing to investigate the F-16 incident. Additional details will be provided as they become available.