Taipei, 29 October 2020 (dpa/MIA) — A Taiwanese air force pilot died in hospital shortly after being rescued from the seas off Taiwan’s southeastern coast by a Navy helicopter after ejecting from a malfunctioning F-5E jet trainer Thursday morning, the air force said.
President Tsai Ing-wen expressed “deep regret” over the loss and called on the Ministry of National Defense to carry out a thorough investigation into the reasons for the tragic accident, the state-owned Central News Agency reported.
Air Force Major General Huang Chih-wei stated during a news conference that Captain Chu Kuan-meng had taken off from the Taitung Zhi-hang Air Base on a routine training mission at 7:29 am (2329 GMT Wednesday).
He declared an emergency due to engine loss of power two minutes later.
Chu ejected from his aircraft and was rescued by a Navy helicopter at about 8:30 am, to be sent to a nearby hospital.
However, the 29-year-old pilot suffered cardiac arrest on his way to hospital and was declared dead after attempts to revive him there.
Huang announced that the air force had grounded all F-5Es and cancelled training flights pending an investigation into the accident.