Two US F-18s make emer­gency land­ings in Tainan: MND

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

The Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense (MND) yes­ter­day con­firmed that two U.S. F-18 fighter jets made emer­gency land­ings at Tainan Air­port fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of me­chan­i­cal prob­lems on one of the planes.

Re­port­edly, both fighters landed at the air­port, which also serves as the Tainan Air Force Base, at 1:19 p.m. yes­ter­day. Fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of the me­chan­i­cal mal­func­tion, the planes sought ap­proval from the Civil Aero­nau­tics Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CAA) to make emer­gency land­ings.

Ac­cord­ing to the CAA, the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ceived the emer­gency 7700 squawk code from one of the craft prior to their land­ing. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the sig­nal, the CAA re­quested the Kaoh­si­ung Ap­proach to as­sist the fighters to land at the air­base in Tainan.

The mil­i­tary also said that the Air Force’s 443rd Tac­ti­cal Fighter Wing (443 ) as­sisted the F-18s dur­ing their land­ing, and re­port- edly guided the mal­func­tion­ing fighter to a main­te­nance han­gar that is op­er­ated by lo­cal air­craft main­te­nance com­pany Air Asia Co. Ltd. ( ). How­ever, as nei­ther the mil­i­tary nor Air Asia have the tech­ni­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties nor the author­ity to re­pair Amer­i­can mil­i­tary planes, the U.S. will re­port­edly dis­patch the nec­es­sary en­gi­neers and equip­ment to fix the F-18.

The MND also de­nied lo­cal re­ports that claimed the other jet that ac­com­pa­nied the mal­func­tion­ing F-18 is an EA-6B Prowler, an elec­tronic-war­fare air­craft. Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT) spokesper­son Mark Zim­mer came for­ward and thanked Tai­wan. The AIT also con­firmed that there were no dif­fi­cul­ties dur­ing the emer­gency land­ing, and that both pi­lots re­main safe. How­ever, the AIT did not dis­close any­more de­tails re­gard­ing the mat­ter, in­clud­ing the fighters’ point of ori­gin or orig­i­nal des­ti­na­tion.

Planes’ Land­ing a Demon­stra­tion of Power against

AIIB: China Ne­ti­zens

In re­lated news, the land­ing of the Amer­i­can F-18s re­port­edly sparked a wide­spread dis­cus­sion among main­land China ne­ti­zens, with some for­mu­lat­ing a the­ory that the planes were con­duct­ing in­ves­tiga­tive op­er­a­tions along the coast of China. Some com­menters even went as far as to spec­u­late that the land­ing it­self was a demon­stra­tion of power from the United States to China against the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB,

).

CNA

Two Fokker 50s be­long­ing to the Tai­wan gov­ern­ment land at Tainan Air­port, yes­ter­day. The two of­fi­cial air­craft car­ried lo­cal of­fi­cials to Tainan to fur­ther un­der­stand the prob­lems with the two U.S. F-18 fighter jets that made emer­gency land­ings in Tainan yes­ter­day.

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