Just before noon on Monday (3/14) one of Taiwan’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets crashed off of the coast of Taitung. While the jet was lost, thankfully the pilot was able to eject and was safely rescued.
Lt. Col. Huang Chung-kai was reportedly on a training exercise for around an hour when he experienced some sort of mechanical failure. He reported this issue around 30 minutes before he ejected, according to Maj. Gen. Liu Hui-chien.
In response Taiwan has began investigating all Mirage 2000 aircraft and none will fly until it has done a full investigation. It also seems that Huang is also doing well and is still recuperating at the hospital.
The pilot’s parents were visited today by military officers to offer their well wishes and thankfulness for the pilots commitment to his country.
The incident also highlights a problem that many in Taiwan are aware of. Rapidly aging equipment. In the case of fighters this situation is especially dire being that they need to constantly scrambled to deter Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ. It is compounded by the fact that China takes every opportunity to block sales of weapons to Taiwan.