United States’ Continues Investigations into South Korea-based F-16 Crashes

The U.S. Air Force continues its investigation into why three F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets crashed in South Korea, with one crashing near Pyeongtaek, 37 miles (60 km) south of Seoul, in May, and the other two crashing into surrounding waters in December and January.

“The full investigation for these separate incidents is ongoing,” said Major Rachel Buitrago, a spokeswoman for the 7th Air Force. She added, “As a result, we can’t speculate on the causes behind them until the results are publicly released.”

Buitrago also said, “We want to assure our partners that we take every precaution to avoid any aircraft incident and prevent the loss of life or property for the Korean and U.S. personnel.” She then further said that “steps are taken during emergency situations for those purposes so that when emergencies do occur, the impacts to civilian populations are mitigated as much as possible.”

Although all three pilots were rescued, the cause of the May crash remains unknown. This has brought up safety concerns, with South Korea grounding over one hundred and fifty fighter jets after a KF-16C crash until the investigation was concluded in December 2023. Buitrago also explained that the 7th Air Force considers each occurrence independent and unrelated to each crash.